It’s Like This

It’s Like This

Coming when I call my daughters
two fortune tellers wet heads wrapped
in towels sit down with their tumble
of questions nearly fitting the puzzle
I’ve made of myself yes they’re ready
offering their hands palms up and clean
they clamor like the high thin echoes after clappers
striking small bells that needed ringing and no we will not
watch TV while we eat you aren’t Laura Croft you’re human
put the knife down you don’t know but outside there’s
one of those sunsets going down like a burning freighter
or the slump at the end of a decade and the light sucked up
like the last of your milkshake and soon enough your body
will be heavy with adolescence your head resting in your hands
like the pope praying for the conversion of Russian
and Mother Mary doing it because she liked him and that’s
very like a parent to play favorites so don’t forget forgiveness
lets think about Isaac a little and Abraham also lets
thank the Holy Spirit a very good writer because you will
have to give up and then you’ll have to keep trying and
hey now you’ll need to slow down and do this
with a little dignity we might want to say grace
calling it down like light rain after heavy weather or sometime
when you’ll want to go to your knees or throw your head
back watching a jet fighter vectoring east over the desert
on a crisp morning afterburners pulling hard right out of your heart
there are children who would slit your throat for that pizza
so go on breathe eat but you’ll have to eat it all.

Fridge, E. 3rd St. and Ave. C, 1983, photograph by Philip Pocock
Fridge, E. 3rd St. and Ave. C, 1983, photograph by Philip Pocock

-D. James Smith