Troubled by the disappearance of days
she started calling me Night. Not with
words familiar to the moon a depressing
glitter of gray. Not with sounds fear
would use as darkness squeezed her throat.
When her eyes blinked the dusk in mine
laughed in the suns cruel face, She said
why do you close the world at 7, making
it go to bed?It’s hard being the book & page
begging the kids to read, harder still to know
which lights may not return come morning.
Anything less than 30 watts & serotonin
weeps so loud I put sandbags under her eyes.
Flooding is common if the thorns in me
bloom as the ghosts clean house.
Let’s talk about a preacher’s daughter’s belly
about the bastard beginnings of me
in Selma in a trailer where nightly she grew
a soldier’s seed into an Amorite’s rose.
She was my private greenhouse of glory
I learned to prune my beauty there
so stranger’s would pay to hold little boys
& harvest the womb with adoption’s turbine.
There the mind does what it can to borrow & steal
when it can’t deal with holes that remain
can’t change them ignore them or fill them with time
into pastoral places of biblical fields
where judgment’s dark ink blackens the sky
above tender white skin & the Red Sea of her
& the Moses in me find nothing miraculous
delivered or free.