HOW TO READ RED
I want weaker bones. To keep
from confessing to the toilet bowl.
Unfortunately, as a child initiated
through violence. Unfortunately,
as a child initiated. Unfortunately
as a child, I yawned myself open.
I emptied the fridge. Then stood
in a thunderstorm and opened
my mouth. Pay close attention
to all of the verbs they use
when speaking Creation. Remember
there is nowhere we do not eat our dead.
I confess I once bought into this myth:
America’s nearly perfect hues.
A leather booth, neon sign. Clean
and vacant blacktop. A land
that rained milk and honey.
Like insects, they burn inside glass houses.
This city, the suburbs. He pushes his covers
between his legs and light drips down his knees.
One day bees will be a myth. For now,
there’s a little glass plate of milk. A kitten
clawing at the scenery. The dusty porcelain,
thin lines spider-webbed across the bone lips
of a china doll. His mother does diligent work.
Her small brush gently kisses the dust from
cracks in his skull. She used to hang laundry
in front of the house while he broke coconuts
on the back porch. Scraped the white meat out
with a bent spoon. This is how you peel a fruit:
Thumb against the blade, handle into the palm.
Split open the thumb, pull out the bone.
He wipes the lip of a beading coke bottle
with his sleeve. He eats flakes of coconut
and tries to not let his fingers touch his teeth.