Every morning I wait for a pouch of dreams the scrabblings of birds and all the rushings by my parents call from two different corners of the room suddenly dead martyrs in the stories of their recent lives my mother lives in a new house she tells me she loves the windows that look out to the sea she shows me her kitchen far messier than the one she had before my father singing and bald at twenty-five shovels dirt or coal I hum along with him but I’m not sure he hears I ask my mother if she’s seen my sisters Who? she shouts all the hairs! all the mouths! she does not know the tall rangy man in overalls my father gone before she knows him as he walks down a path near the river where the after-life happens before it can be caught where the life before is a dog or a fly or a portrait on the wall my sisters stroll through the center of the room one has a broken arm the other a cane and a limp I run to them and hide beneath their matching rose velvet gowns I sing my father’s song up through their ribs and hear an orchestra of breathing tubes rabbits on the floor a hint of lime eggs scrambling in an iron pan I see a block of marble where the wind a drum in the grass a grave of killers rises and wanders toward morning through the dark
Samuel Ace [photo credit: Matthew Blank] Samuel Ace is a trans/genderqueer poet and sound artist. He is the author of several books, most recently Our Weather Our Sea (Black Radish), the re-issued Meet Me There: Normal Sex and Home in three days. Don’t wash., (Belladonna* Germinal Texts), and Stealth with poet Maureen Seaton. He is the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writer Award and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry, as well as a two-time finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the National Poetry Series. Recent work can be found in Poetry, PEN America, Best American Experimental Poetry, Vinyl, and many other journals and anthologies. He currently teaches poetry and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts. www.samuelace.com.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan