I unstrangle. Dangle a little burnt bacon
at the back door
to see if a determined part of me
floats up the stairs,
a reluctant stray finding its address.
Perhaps there are other orderings of nerves
– my map is worn out
– a new route through rot and worry.
A child drawing freehand stars in pencil
is bigger than intestinal winces,
a metallic throat. Ears merely echo with heat.
If someone could please squeeze my foot
it’s so damn cold
maybe carry the grocery bags,
I’ll soak little livers in buttermilk.
Still, a situation is a situation. A passageway crumbled
is not always best for breathing.
This chorus of metals and minerals:
In excelsis feo. Ferrous. Ferritin.
These B12s and bovines and beetroots in tiers.
I see a fallacy. I sleep in a crowd of doubt.
But still nothing
will ruin our half-awake movements,
butter and berries. My father believes the same
despite his kidneys,
his diminishing frame. Each morning
he tries to remember hunger,
a parade of children leaving.
He shakes his head at the extras I slide his way–
thin, prophetic squares of seasoned meat.