In the springtime
we traveled only
by delicate footsteps,
down dirt paths and
into the river.
I coughed
up storms and stones
from my throat,
crunched them with
my red rocket teeth,
mouthing kisses and
bruised words that had
banged round my bones
for far too long,
clawing at my ribcage,
craving to make a sound.

There was always
some syrup maiden,
her tattoos
staring holes through me
at bars all across
the Midwest,
and I wondered if her pores
took in the magic
they felt
around them,
orgasmed slightly,
with the glow that
felt so good as it
slipped down their necks
and made music with their curves.

Little girls in pink shoes,
little boys in plaid blues
wave and wink
at the grocery store cashiers
that no one else
seems to notice.
My grandmother cleans
while my younger brother
slowly melts away
in a hospital bed built for two,
he wants to sail
down the river instead,
telling grand stories
and drinking bourbon,
smoking his pipes,
making circles in the air,
but perhaps
his watering adventure days
are over and
whats left is
eating oatmeal
at least with a smile sometimes,
with a large spoon,
and breathing heavy. 

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