Illustration by Ella Corder.
Ode to Abstraction
It is easy to believe in God when begonias bloom.
Robins on my lawn look like Donald Trump
with their flat heads and terracotta feathers.
Two Trumps squawk, exchange fists over an inchworm.
I scrape my eyeteeth on glass when we kiss.
I squint at your eyes; they are seven seas away.
Oxygen, nitrogen, two layers of Calvin Klein sunglass between us;
Fingerprints are an abstract idea.
Tongues touch through cigarette paper.
Beads of sweat fall to different poles of the Earth.
I dream that my grandparents die, each on alternate nights,
pass silently on a greasy yellow La-Z-Boy.
My grandmother revives, chases me through the attic,
shakes patent black pumps in her arthritic fists.
I walk onstage on opening night as Character 1.
I know no lines nor into which play I am being swallowed;
the black masses gaze.
My baby brother dies; it is tangentially my fault.
I scream in whispers as I’m stabbed by a communist in his car.
The moon fills with blood, rolls away,
trumpets sound as my knees hit the ground.
When I don’t dream, I collect Easter-basket grass,
plastic flowers, torpid snakes, tinted sunglasses
and build an acrylic world.