The paperboy brought his baby
brother to watch the concrete liquid
slurry out the truck chute into a wellbore.
They held each other and died—
head bowed and spine bent.
A hunched, sexless figure wrapped copper wire
around their ankles, rolled them into the hardening pit.
The cement rose to the top of their heads. You said,
we’ve all had that one. Go back to sleep.
You drove me to the post office,
reminding me to recline my seat and lick my stamps.
We passed the newsstand where you pointed out
two boys, the ones I’d described,
both alive, eating chicken bakes.
The boys have uncles and cousins that come looking—
the milk man, the clerk, the caddy, the clock maker,
and, with each one dead as soon as they are named
by the same demon, the list grows closer to our block.
Why I remember the pitch of taut wire, fumes of slag and sand—
I want to keep this to myself.
In articles on dreams, I read about:
Americans waking nude, a mouthful of chipped teeth,
sun symbols, Bible verse, different words for cricket,
like costly in Korean or courage in Chinese.
It made everything common, harmless
the way you said these things cannot exist. I cannot
hang the laundry line without
counting ankles across it.
It is long enough to hold us.