Nihil Volo sed Tempus Dilacerant
It was night and I toppled
The cairn you built. I even loosed
The horses— left the paddock
Gate unhinged and spilt the hogs
From their fold—into the silent
Absence of night, lit only
By their frightened piggy eyes.
I have burnt your barn.
A charred fencing pressed in
Elegant cross hatchings
Imprints my forearms.
My fists unclench, I am ashes.
Yet, my destruction is in vain.
Leaves will turn and let go of their mothers.
Careless and blind, they will relish
Their own gravity. I cannot stop
The world, this world.
While the horses and hogs scatter
Mindlessly in the radiant dark,
I alone must atone to you.
My life fluttering and constant,
A pressed metronome
I cannot help but keep.
It Took Two Weeks, But He Fixed It
Most family heirlooms don’t consist
Of spackling paste. Or walls. Or fists.
But my family’s most treasured relic
is a combination therein.
Faces blistered—I’m sure, though I
Didn’t actually see—brows crocheted
Like flaming macramé.
A clouded heat of words and swears,
Trapped under glass, condensating action.
Mouths blossomed forth pristine hate in
Autumn’s early evening. That much I did see
Through the kitchen window, from the garage.
My six-year-old-self— aware only
The “let’s hustle” rush of aunt, then uncle,
Fade of the rumble,
Taillights of the Pontiac.
I stood flabbergast
With the spice rack,
At the eight inch wound
In kitchen sheetrock.
Both of us in shock, shelves
And shouldered arms akimbo;
What happened!? Who did this!?
A pathetic inquiry, at best.
At least he didn’t punch the stud,
He’d left with a broken hand.
And that was all
Grandpa ever said concerning that incident.
I heard it.
I was there.
I was there
When the youngest,
Angry son snuck in silent, late
One night to make amends—
To patch, spackle and heal
A recessed emptiness we had
Finally gotten used to.