I wake in a clot of darkness. When the third rooster crows, I hear the werewolf jump over the neighbor’s fence. It grunts and paces outside the door, sniffing out the scent of our dreams. The werewolf seeps in and eats my father’s dreams. But he can’t eat mine. Not while I’m still awake.

Her back is turned. The head kerchief covers her hair as if she should be ashamed she has any. She keeps stirring the pot on the stove, but I know only chicken feet float in that soup. The dust in the room is a thousand years old and keeps rising to her ankles, to her knees.

Always, everything George
For George Vasilievici, 1978-2010

George passes by the beggar child who cries coins on the sidewalk. His room has four walls, four entrances and no exit. The moths pour from the mattress into his mouth. George juliennes his onion love, tears streaming down his face. He sees his own mother carrying him in her womb in a red lacquered casket. On the balcony, George laughs at himself: the tall awkward tassel dangling at the end of the scarf.

I skate on the rim of the half-empty glass. Under my feet, thin skins of sound peel from the edge and lift into the air. The hand raises the glass to the light. The nose sniffs the wine. The wrist gives it a whirl. Where would I rather fall: into the abyss of the floor, or into the dark mouth that waits?



cow vulture honk