Alcoholics Are So Generous
You say Walter’s sick. Very sick. I think flu.
Sniffles. Under. The weather. You say fluid,
gallons, drained from his abdomen.
I can’t imagine him bloated. That wiry hard
friendly body—always calling out
greetings, a dog bone hidden
in his fist. Oh, he might have been a brawler
Once. Tattoo on his forearm before they were
fashionable. And a genuine biker. He’d give
you the shirt off his back. He’d scratch
your back even if you didn’t scratch his. Scratch
your palm with cash if you needed it. And he
needed it. Always laughing. He’s younger
than he looks. Younger than a man with that kind
of record. Now he’s napping. Worn. Older than
me, but just barely. And broke. He’s given everything
to his children. Can’t afford an obituary. We’re gonna
take up a collection to pay for his funeral.
store clerk saw unidentified man leave store
with unpaid for merchandise and flee
one ring missing from drawer
no sign of forced entry
complainant hit by rock thrown at him by
4. Flame of a Candle
suspect arrested for allegedly stealing DVD
player from store
5. Vivid White Sky-mind
refrigerator missing from building
6. Vivid Red or Orange Sky-mind
refrigerator and six window shades
missing from building
7. Vivid Black Sky-Mind
1988 Buick Century stolen
8. Clear Light
1990 BMW stolen with briefcase inside
It is not a room.
It imitates a house with walls and cement but there is no skin of life.
I lean against cement and watch the washingmachine shudder.
My father’s drill silent and hulking.
The circular saw terrifying in its stillness.
My baby food jars have been made into racks filled with nails and screws of various sizes.
The workbench, its red paint spattered stool.
The sump pump chugging cool in the corner.
What lives in the cobwebbed rafters? Dust hidden below the house my mother kept spot clean.
What else is hidden? The heavy doors of the cedar closet, coats bulking inside.
I have come to sit here in the moving circle of the single dangling bulb.
My father may be dying in another city.
I have never been left home alone.
I am alone.
I have entered this imitation of home.