my father's guitar is a basement staircase.
the meal worms sing like kurt cobain
from inside its belly. i have a dream in which
everything rattles when i pick it up
& he is trying to sleep & i am
always waking him up. once we caught
a stray angel & for days left her chained
inside the garage. i would ask my father
every night, "can we keep her?"
we fed her what bugs we could find
until on the third day she started screaming
& my father said it was time to let her go.
the world outside is a warning. signs blink
red & then orange & then yellow.
tulips with their own armories.
i loved to steal his guitar. it was
as large as me & hissed when i picked it up.
distortion pedals enough to bike
to mars. my father collages a perfectly normal
hallway & then there you are with the sound
of falling trumpets. how do you know
when it is time to be quiet & wait
for a danger to pass or when it is
time to run into the ringing bell? he taught me
all the different ways to swallow
a string. the snakes in the basement
he talked to when he said no one else
would listen. oh but how i listened.
lived on a diet of sand & silverfish
& his prononciations. he said, "here we are.
here we are." played his guitar
until the dark moon flashed her scales.
i was always listening.