Backyard summer

Her legs wrench an extra pillow as my sweaty skull soaks through a cushy counterpart wall-side. 

Loose threads climb in her sleeping ears and whisper rumors of rogue magnetic hairs, spiderwebs, carpet enemies.  

I dream of sanitary plastic gloves on dinner plates. By morning, her shaved head will warm in the sun and calm the subsurface menace. 

We sit in slow motion on newly clean outdoor chairs. My eyelids are clunky garage doors hoisted by an unseen electric pulley. Damn dog. Fucking shit-eating dog.

The boys want lunch, but don’t mind making it themselves. We can pretend a vacay in Hospital City; summer is not lost. 

A breeze cooler than June pushes branches near the fence, then thinks less of purpose. This is a workday for so many. 

We’re skin spots and brain fog. The light shines down. What will the specialist say? Money drips in a quiet coffee stream from a backend reservoir. 

Our white sun pushes salt out successfully through ancient channels. The cut grass sits Berber-style and calls Molly to roll and scratch her back by the root’s edge. Still green now.  

I fade in a quiet moment — accidentally forgetting it all. 

Oh yeah, remember the new world. The unfinished, updated living experience. 

I’ll try fish in coconut oil. We’ve got to get the good bacteria up. 

Andrew’s birthday comes July. Let’s get inside to vacuum before we make calls. 

Maybe in a minute. 

Stale kale

The sugar cone was soft, chewy. 

The wind was warm and stung of ammonia from the factory farm now south of the railroad tracks. 

The June bugs hiss like the creaking screen door, begging for a better life in oil. 

The sores heal slow in the summer heat. 

Waves of energy lines cloud the eye as I let sweat creep to the end of my nose, resting on the satisfaction of potential for longer than I thought possible. 

With its splash crash I honor it for a moment, then stand out of the rocking chair. There’s a snake under the porch, but I won’t let it know I know it’s there yet. 

I didn’t need the cone. 

I’m going to walk upstairs and draw a bath like Marjorie used to. With a hint of lavender. 

She wanted me eating right, the curly girly. The kids miss her more but for other reasons. 

I can’t see more than flashes of flesh and the salt on her lips. I am so numb. I’ve grown cold. 

I don’t want to remember the energy of youth. I want to walk stair steps into the grave. For now, I’ll walk to bed and pretend to die. I can hear the crickets now. I bury my face in cotton sheets. The shadow of night grows. 

Gut check

Foggy bathroom, black gum on concrete.

Steel doors with a vertical gap one greasy thumb wide. 

Top volume long human hair pieces, one each for Boo, Scooter and Boo Scooter. 

Dang tranny makes me itch like I got cut hair and went laid in grass. 

Who dreams up to rob a hospital? Granny Tranny who. 

But I can’t work at the fabrication shop since Ellen found Pokie on the floor. The chain stretch outside, didn’t see a problem unless rain or Thursday. And fuck the office, Tom. 

Man, I want Raisin Bran. Two bowls ain’t enough; my throat’s dry. 

All I know is lights blinking, heart’s racing and by 10, I’ be shot or speedin’ that car speed to the Blue motel in Carcer. Hot fuck!

Let’s go, Ace! “Live or die don’t try, Mother Fucker.” The mirror is ready. 

For friends and brothers in war

The deceiver is ego.

Two Frost paths emerge in the wood: one rooted in confidence, earned and restrained or assumed and wild, and a trail of self-doubt and shame.

Both sides come around the mountain with servants and lost souls. But the deception all parties face and to which they must succumb or overcome is that one’s value varies by circumstance. 

Our environment and brick-and-mortar selves constantly change clockwise by second and hour. 

Does value move up and down with them? Are metrics based on location? Is there no thread that runs across lives from powerless, curious newborn to broken, failing geriatric daydreamer? No string of self crossing rich to poor, homely to handsome? 

Ego is the variable. Worth is fixed as part of one creation. Value is bounded, measurable, shared. 

Take heart, weary Soldier, comradery is the call.