my summer vacation (20160626)

i have sharpened corners
a six-sided box of a man

i don’t breathe anymore
so i can live my life backwards

everything flips
mirror-reversed

my past wriggles like a snake
drawn endlessly from my spine

a magician’s trick of
of unending handkerchiefs

outside a beautiful evening cools
while i think about

school and how far
i have run from learning

a damned
thing

winner winner (20160620)

grandma used to come over
for sunday dinner with her husband
–always called by name, never grandpa–

she and my mom would cook
enough for seven or eight of us
usually fried chicken

i don’t know what grandma thought of
my mother’s moving from husband
to husband like she was conducting
a wide-area survey but then
she was on her third husband

from the coop behind the house
grandma would pick two chickens
and wring their necks
washing and plucking them
in a tub of steaming water
until the backyard stank of wet hen
though some feathers were always
found during the meal

someone volunteered
–i think my brother, which
should have been a red flag–
to cut the throats
and hang the birds by their feet until
it was time to dress them and cook them

they gave up our plot of land
when my parents split up
goodbye to the chickens
the horses, too

from then on
everything was bloodless
and bought at the store