A Moth in the Projectorlight [excerpt]
Even if only in photographs—
a laundry truck, seconds after.
Phone in the apartment ringing
above the accident & a coroner
careful enough to stay speechless
until the wind picks up
& the passersby can smell simply
the blood, like fresh wood or
A boy of six cups his hands
around a wet moth
as he stands up
in the bathtub
releasing it to the mirrorlight.
Beige wingdust on his palm.
Yellow. The room is orange
& black also. Water
a whistle, draining in his mother’s tub.
This is the part of the story where
& where I come in.
around the corner for the signal:
your twin sisters will
free from the balcony.
smelling of rye.
Aluminum dust under his
Memory opens a little door:
the dark & you listen
with your eyes
& write things in my letter
you’ll pretend later
A kid at the mailbox sings that
your brothers are deader than doorlocks,
that your mother lives
in their teeth.
no center, broke-lit
from the team of horses
under the great lamps.
A curse of split melon
on the kitchen counter
draws me out into the snowdrift.
White heat from the boy’s breath
& the toy house’s tiny doorbell
chimes somehow in the empty room
startling the cat.
You took your apricot dress to the drycleaners
& left it forever.
Haystink, humming street ruckus, moonlit
Each evening I peek into that mailbox
for what my father’s unable to tell me
on the edge of my own bed
morning will scorch
into the sockets of his arms
& that he is
drinking sorry again
From Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk by Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.