As a youth I would climb high up in a thin-limbed tree,
bark scratching bare arms as I picked cherries,
droped them into a bucket
and relished the wind on my face and the sunshine that warmed my skin.
These memories are now confined to a photo that my mother gave me many years ago as part of a birthday gift: one piece in an album of photos.
But when summer downpours sucked my sister down a ditch
under and inside a thorn bush's craggy and cavernous insides
I learned not to expect worn out shoes
or tattered clothes to keep the rain out:
funky mold and fungal feet swollen like monkey paws
clutching pacifiers licking lips rinsing toothpaste.
Tobacco smoke residue whitens teeth as history too before us.
Parched throats need water
arid eyeballs stare down periscopes with foggy lenses
down down down the drain
meter maids make money,
mountain gorillas run on four legs
their knuckles skipping against stones,
and instead of English they use sign language:
universal love signifies speech like bitches signify heat.
Birds see trees and buildings alike
and so they find the best real estate
and with interest accrued on profits made
deathless the pale rider comes,
rare is the prize fighter punching holes in walls,
thumping charcoal skulls
till iron-cast blood runs from holes new made:
projectiles finding fingers crawling clawing the brain.