What We Take Apart When No One’s Looking
August of the wild fence row, kicked-up broken glass.
I tore through remnant tiger lilies and dead sparrows,
flattened shotgun shells pocked by gravel, tickseed hidden in a hiss of grass.
Disassembled walls clunked stone by stone into the belly of a rusted barrow.
Summer of the busted knuckle, the hard-earned easy cash,
the blackened thumbnail and a stash of Playboy’s rain-marred beauties,
and orphaned cans of beer. Summer of the whitewashed sky,
the waylaid hour, the twitch of a deer’s flank at the edge of a field.
I took apart the lawnmower until my whole life stank of gas-soaked rags.
I drowned out the warblers with a louder song, broke the bones in one soft hand.
I learned the itch is God’s most hellish punishment. I ditched the cast,
unsigned, too pure and lonely for a pen.
That whole July and most of August no one spoke my name.
I thumbed a ride to Georgia when the heat dragged down the moon.
I tell myself I wouldn’t change a thing.