brother was a gravedigger.
He was more than this,
I am sure,
but he became little more than parable
to my mother who did not know him well,
who feared him. She says of him
that he was a soldier in the War,
that he returned to Goldsboro different-
he kept to
himself, paced the dirt streets at dusk,
and he begged
for work in the graveyards.
After only three days
of sculpting out graves,
his dusk time pacing became
and he began then to talk back to the
still living alongside him. He shouted,
cursed at them, pleaded that they leave him alone
and that they return.
I could be another body. It could be 1995 or 1959,
or I could live in a time not all that specific.
Lying on the grass last Sunday, or maybe when
I was five, I felt
the ground pulling at me.
Apparently, the body has
It plants itself as memory whose accuracy is doubtful:
I could be another. It could be tomorrow.
The earth was pulling, and my body laid out
remembered falling asleep in the afternoon,
with play and questions, a find of the four-leaf.
I was lucky all over again: born when I was, to whom,
and where: I was having a good life, a birthday, the day
answering to me. No one I loved had died yet-not
who went first and quick, not my brother, not
others. The breathing of the ground rouse me, grass
flooding the mouth and marking for itself my face.
I woke up belonging somewhere, not yet able to move
for fear I would
disturb what was still sleeping.
blood of you, hearing
gives itself and takes
things remain in the ears.
How does a tribe
come to be?
The first time a lover loved my ears,
in those moments
a soul is borne,
tongued and chewed and nibbled them,
does blood become
I felt a roar and heard
to cross it
blood rush itself to answer
and be home