“Your father had an accident there: he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”
–The Tale of Peter Cottontail, Beatrix Potter
My endeavor is an assemblage of tissue, bone, and nerve
whose code is to lift me up. The engine of music, an enterprise of cells,
a corporation of one. Even though she’s seen it a million times, the projectionist
lets the well-worn movie run itself out. With so many plotlines,
a variable of success is where she could choose to stop it
but doesn’t. Wasting away, his winnowed frame left paw prints all over the house
in the Pied Piper’s apocalyptic jig toward death. Even then,
he waited until the last minute before opening that door.
Who wouldn’t milk the most out of what he’s got,
gambling on fate’s prerogative to reverse itself?
Scott said, I choose not to portray my father.
Sometimes we don’t have a choice. We have to go until the going is gone.
Once the gears start turning, all sorts of mystical things happen,
a web of causality. Somewhere is the part that doesn’t move.
We are storing it for the future. Bless the active quiet around it,
the value of space surrounding. I will pump ions in the air
with my pink fibrous bellows, a campaign declaiming stasis
but banking on a fall. A child is too young to manage his body,
biting down on pennies, scratching a pox. How the physical can change in an instant
due to bad decisions, a head stuck out of a car window on a bridge,
a severed finger in a bowl of chili, Nerds and Pepsi. I’ve made it past
those fears of life-altering fragmentation: unwittingly committing a crime
and going to jail, honestly answering a question that betrays my parents.
Shouldn’t it go both ways and the world slip so that what was red is black
and what they all know they now admit?
How I wish to be lovely. Once the frame of reference changes
our signature qualities will emerge from the postdiluvial silt
to shine hallelujah. When the world rights itself, bears will turn into bulls,
mammoths into racehorses, heavy dinosaurs into fine-boned birds.
We’ll be seen for who we are, and the past won’t matter any more.