You Didn’t Need to Yell at Me as Much as I Thought You Did

You were afraid of the child’s cigarette glowing in the dark. Something you experienced like a door with a hole in its roof, the sky whispering. You opened your mouth and your voice rose like smoke. It took hold of the story slowly, like a road for people without shoes passed gently from one green sun to another.

But sometimes when the roof’s shadow climbs in the window . . .

and this other story swaggers in the door drunk and uninvited . . .

Then more stories waiting in their own shopping bags, stories infested with exuberant generosities. Life like a dare. As if each story might lose an argument with a glass of words. It doesn’t really matter what’s in there, does it? Just something.

When you hear the angels sing, remove your childhood.

It’s not exactly a torture.

There was a kind of brothel light behind your eye-bright, a ballet in our settlements. There was a devil for every possibility and you collected them on your wrist, which made me want to kiss it. It left me with feelings for well-organized cabinets. We were told something to do with our poetry books

and it wasn’t to read them.

It had a life of its own.

It grew old enough to talk to strangers.