The Old Green One
I will make you a music box from a porn star
fill her insides with gears and whistles, a key
that comes out of her navel for turning
in the hot summer sun
or under the stars at night.
When our daughter is older, I will explain the porn star
in the basement, tucked away with your dirty magazines
your crumpled, dented trombone. I will tell her how even music
can be base and indecent, and all that I know
about lonely breasts and constellations.
A Test of Vows and Faith
If a voice in the middle of the night demanded
you offer up the life of your child, would you
gently wake him or her, saying
Get dressed, you’re going to meet God?
Would you put our daughter in the back of the car, her eyes
still blurry from sleep, tell her to buckle her seat belt on
as you quietly pull out of the drive
and turn the car towards the mountains? Would you
think of waking me before you left
tell me this new story about God’s will
or would you hold your breath and carry your shoes
a finger on your lips in case our son tries to call out?
Or would you defy the command, close your ears
to the voice that promises miracles or piles on guilt
until you half-relent, immediately
regretting and retracting the promise of sacrifice?
An Argument Against Furniture
one should have cardboard boxes
and not furniture
in one’s house, dozens of empty
overturned refrigerator boxes, oversized moving boxes
perhaps set end to end, flaps joining one
to the next, like a giant rodent maze
or stacked, one atop another
like flimsy, defective coffins pushed against the wall
at the back of the factory
perhaps waiting to be discarded
or sold to Halloween stores for prop-purposes only
because you can hide in a box
in a way you could never hide in a couch
or a chair
or an end table.
if someone was to come to the door
or peek through the window
or even push over the front door
the way friendly neighbors do on TV
they would not see you
in the dark of the living room, behind the couch
pretending to not be home—they would only see
a box, or boxes, a room full of boxes
and the more boxes you have
spread about the house
the more difficult it’ll be
for anyone to find you.