lull of a copper kite, plunge of my body
from grandmother’s balcony. I floated
through a corrupted world to meet water
like Icarus or my first piano student, bloated
and Black, choking on that muddy Mississippi.
When my voice fell, instead of balling, I tilled
cool earth, found rest on black grass where
dandelion seeds stood long enough to laugh
breeze across my face, a rivulet of sunbeams
swimming across my room, garden of small eons,
spent like a hulled mollusk in a basket of juices
where echinacea pots sun lounge near my bed,
where I call my friend who was lover somewhere,
tender. In a mess of garlands, I wonder why
God swallows children and leaves for us to bear.
I watch my father’s disappointed mouth say
boys should not want boys made of river
because boys grow to be and men,
men are mirrors and full of scars.