there is fire

June 29, 2020

i got caught in the undertow of spring
a shithole backyard burning rubber
a red wheelbarrow with unbolted hinges
my grandfather smoking fat, cheap cigars
from the fold out chair, him and my dad
turned over an empty keg and tabled it
with a two-by-four plank of wood to play
cards i dug my whole hand into the gravel
trying to find the roly-polies and centipedes
the overturned tree thickly settled had me
reaching new heights over which i could see
their smoke perfuming and you know
what they say, where there is smoke there is
a home cooked meal there is something
about the summer denim of being home,
a reliability familiarity in their movements,
who believed in the heart of the cards
papa smoothed over the mug of his face
beard freshly razored off in the bathroom sink
i remember watching him stem bits of blood
with tissue paper and i mimicked with safety
scissors balding my dolls on the tiled floor
i dug myself so deep in that backyard i sprung
water washed my hands in it like the holy geyser
while they puffed out until the last stub of ash
and tobacco you know what they say
where there is smoke there is water

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