there is a siren in the living room
& men coming through the windows.
in this memory, it is august, the month of
candied teeth. we used to live
down the street from a church
& the church was always burning down.
engines in the trees. red harvest.
red moon. putting on the suite
& climbing into the gallery
of tongues. who taught you
how to speak when you are terrified?
i would wave to workers as they pulled valleys
from our yard. men running.
poles down into the belly of
a massive promise. here we come.
here we always come. i drew escape plans
on brown paper napkins.
rolled them up & put them under
my brother's pillow. always planned
to take him with me if everything
went up in flames again. but,
when the time comes you never do
what you said you were going to do.
there was a moutnain of shoes.
a rush. smell of burnt rubber.
gas furnance. picking up the one item
i could take. i was not my heart.
it was a little mirror scratched
& covered with dust. i was not inside it.
the windows spat spiders. mice ran
making necklaces with their bodies
in the yard. the men never save you
even if they believe they have.