• Stephen Rendon

the trash-can open

the trash-can open

half a black cloud and the brown church.

threaded grease-trap smoke

churning | free-blown.

dad’s stories had the same scent.

his sewn tongue lumped like prayer beads.

notches with hourly oral patterns:

warn your children

censor your stories




His ripped tongue edible



one one three/

two one bare/

on and on . . .

laved my hair with his dead skin and spit.

half-moon before, under, his eyes.

down the steps to the small pond

thinned to a final boiling thread.

the sky’s clear yarn dried.

roots that used to stitch the bark.

sap that dripped on glass

it’s partner two inches off.

the short knotted hills taken by the ants

and ants that pour themselves from their own lump

stolen from the dirt-grains.

piled between them:

brown flesh

one arm over one arm.

the sun gives light to,

darkens me.

i make my way through a seesaw of poor and not.

watch for cracks

beware of dogs.

the town, around me, slowly turns

from town to him.

"Blue 3" by Marina Alaeva.