Poem Notes


Of all the somnambulists
trolling the floors of the town
that was nearly a ghost
after the mines had dried up,
your feet on the floorboards
creak high above the harmony
that if you could use the crystal tuner
on your father’s outdated radio
to tune it to Collective Sounds
of the Floorboards of Very Old Houses
you’d be able to hear
like a dream from after
the grave and the service
and after the family’s return
to their planes, after the eventual leaving
and your education in the finer
arts of loneliness, your courses
in sleeping solo in a California King
that you so easily passed. When you
were younger and were less aware
of the body’s (sometimes faulty)
architecture and you’d drink as much
as you could then walk as far as you could
in the heft of the summer,
you saw a quote about Jesus
painted on a garage’s side,
and an axe by the adjoining pool.
You knew you’d come back
with a tub of red paint: a splash
for the wall and a mark for the axe
and the sky’s store of stars
and a line in the paper tomorrow.