THINKING IN THUNDER
I want to write you a story. I don’t know how to write you a story,
therefore I try to write you a poem. The poem is too long.
The poem pushes out legs and crawls on my chest like a spider.
I flick it away. Looking out the window I see storm clouds brewing,
the thunder thunders between my ribs.
A happy ghost sits on my head.
An old cup of coffee sits by the kitchen sink
and watches the sun rise again. The house is flooded from dark blue
to pale blue. Some might call it cerulean,
if they’re into that kind of thing. Meaning, a kind thing.
Kindness, like a ghost sitting on my head, hovering just out of reach.
I have little kindness for myself. I think in thunder,
or I at least think someone does.
I tried to write you that story, but I couldn’t do it.
Couldn’t do it because it was a true story about us.
A story I’m afraid to ask you about. A glacier breaks off
into the ocean, the missing pieces floats away,
but the ice is never aware that it is a missing piece.
The cracked slab crashes into the big blue,
the polar bear mother watches in silence.
A seagull flies, disappearing in the clouds.
As I delete the story, the house informs me that the storm is here.
That looming ghosts are here.
That I am here, and you are not.
An ant crawls along the wall.
I crush the body without feeling anything.
The sacrifice under my nail. Nails
in my head swarming
The world is a hammer and I am made of wet wood.
I call the ant, sibling. They do not respond,
because they are dead. I know a ghost from a dream.
They pray hard against my skull
and nobody stops to wake me. Nobody stop
to tell me, this is all a dream,
wake up. Stop crawling up the wall,
I respond to nothing around me.
If this is a dream, why are my bones beat to dust?
Why is there a sound when I open my mouth?
Not the empty space of a dream. Not the hollow
cage of an unloved child. The void
that never quite allows you to know you’ll wake up.
My arms and legs curl under my torso. Falling
from the wall, I never wake up. The last thing
a soft knock in my chest, I am
A moment when the sound of a closed door
is my favorite song.
My muscles won’t relax, but they could.
Muffled explosions of a world, trapped in free play.
Tea steeped perfect, brushing hair I’ve let grow
for three weeks
past when I used to cut it. When I thought,
a perfect man has the perfect
hair cut. Now my locks are free to roam,
like skeleton horses in the dark hours
of the last day of October.
Before the sun rises, the skeleton horses have to return
to their skeleton mothers, and possibly skeleton fathers,
but nobody can be sure. In the viscera of the closed door
I think about my father. The way he pushed me
to the ground,
pushed me to another universe.
The way my mother threw the world at me
from a bar parking lot once, you’re not my son.
Maybe she became someone else’s mother at that point.
Mother and father of unidentifiable dust.
The skeleton horse, does it ever really return
to its skeleton parents?
Jesus would like to think so. However,
I’m not Jesus, or Christ,
or a skeleton horse. I wish I could be
one of those things.
To run off into the shadow of shadows.
To have my hooves clack in the night,
like the latch of a closed door.