Brief Color

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The milk’s spill reflects red next to the torn bear’s heart.

While making dinner, I speak to my vanished brother. He announces

a black dog carrying in a gift of glistening pig bone

from a field filled with butterflies filled with hunger.

Do you know the butterflies are scavengers? my brother asks.

I say, I’ve seen a swallowtail enter an armadillo through its blown-out eye

and emerge from the groin. My brother clicks his tongue, says, the distance …

The dog chews. The butterflies turn into candlelight against greasy plates

at night, while at my feet the hardwood floor reveals its rings

expanding out. I wonder if my brother ever used his pocketknife

to cut something loose so it became while fleeing a circle within a circle.

My two-year-old son drags his fingers through the milk,

and the puddle becomes a hurt wing. I wipe his hand clean.

He takes his torn bear close, kisses it. My brother asks,

Do you know never to be the cup?      Yes, I say. I’ve watched water turn into air.

Before he walks out the door, before air becomes a bell at my ankles,

my brother ends, it will consume you. Later, my daughter watches herself

wet her face in the mirror. I lie in bed with her small, sleeping sibling.

He speaks nonsense in dream, but I hear it as question. I even bring to his eye

that brief color one cannot see when far, far away from home. I begin,

never be the boy who enters, exits this life. But I stop, start again, never be the boy

who will drop a stone …into the boat … into my chest.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017