Atlas and Alice - Issue 7

Page 31

Atlas & Alice | Issue 7, Summer/Fall 2016

another dream about real life I think I look in the mirror & see fading light in the window of the mobile home my father looks across the frozen hayfield maybe if they had made it to spring maybe holes in a shabby pair of Dickies palms blackened by newsprint ice-filled cooler b/c there’s no gas for the generator the missed land payments thick envelopes stacked in the PO box [red-letters/caps-lock] I see a coyote appear near the draw gaunt shadow third time this week in fading light & the bleat of an ambulance in the distance empty frozen pasture screaming wind black ice on the road & a tire kicks a rock into the windshield the only car that still runs got to haul the bundles to sunrise chin up eye on the rear view in the dead of winter he asks if I will help now I am a pallbearer in black rewriting & rewriting & rewriting the eulogy b/c the ink keeps disappearing I try to steady myself gauge the tempo long deep breaths I carry the body heavy heavy I sink & sink & sink beneath the casket I am covered w/ a handful of dirt but my dreams are liars b/c the mortician let my grandfather rot while negotiating payment we had to cremate him instead I smell smoke from the woodstove they had before the roof caved on the old place three or four winters back I smell the dogs that kept the coyotes away I smell the hay but the sheep are gone & the ground is too hard for the shovel to break it I never saw the urn & b/c we lost the land I suppose we can’t bury him there he’ll stay on the shelf in the mobile home tucked w/ the photo albums to travel so far & never reach the hearth I deserve no better put me in a jar

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