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Archive for October 9th, 2014

 

jaison cianelli

 

After

 

after the baby was burned

 

hot tea

scalding fresh flesh

the call from the hospital

the panic

the deep breathing

trying to calm the fears

the breaking voice

 

twelve days

in the burn unit

 

my happy baby

who has suffered so much

in his one year

 

the big baby turning purple

unable to pass my bride’s

small hips

 

the nurses panicking

 

the baby two weeks old

burning up

the poke and prod

the iv

the spinal tap

 

and now

still smiling weakly

 

when he comes home

there is the sudden leak

in the bathroom pipes

which is going to cost

more than we have

or can cough up

our cards maxed

plus it’s the weekend

so even if we can find a plumber

who has a plan

or a high interest loan

from the bankers

we have two more days

with no running water

and people who need to drink

and poop

and shower

 

and i

the father

 

the father

 

once again

torn between

despair and rage

and love

 

i leave

 

to drop my maria

who is eleventeen

at the tribal rites

because she

is part of a mob flash

or something

at halftime

 

she talks

all the way to the game

 

but so preoccupied with grief

over the baby

and the plumbing apocalypse

and the fight with the eldest son

i do not make plans

for picking her up

 

she is so happy

and alive

and beautiful

 

i just forgot

 

i watch her walk off

into the crowd

of strangers

me basking in her fire

 

not thinking

 

driving away i realize

i am

the stupidest father ever

 

i figure she is with her friends

she will use their phones

to call

or she will see her brother

and he will take her home

 

at ten thirty

when the phone does not ring and does not ring

fighting the angst

the stupidest father ever

drives to the stadium

big enough to hold the whole town

in this football crazy place

there are thousands of people

heading out

 

hundreds remain

 

he parks his car

despairs

feels her presence

by the main gate

ignores it

and begins

a more systematic search

past the marching band

and milling sports writers

and old guys in high school colors

orange and black

into the stadium

all but deserted

then out and back

to the main gate

 

and there she is

vibrant

talking to kids

laughing

her face smudged

with tiger stripes

this girl with eyes

of nameless colors

 

this girl who finishes my sentences

and knows my thoughts

and says the same word

at the same time i do

the girl with seven brothers

 

the stupidest father ever

hugs his girl

teary eyed

though she

does not see

in the half light

 

we turn to

head home

 

where

my bride

 

whose eyes say we must talk

 

tells me we need to fill the five gallon jug

because we don’t want to turn the water on

and make the leak worse

the wood already wet

and ready to rot

 

near midnight

 

to the 24 hour laundromat

to get change for the water machine

 

there is one soul

in the florescent light

and the hum

 

a company  truck

outside

 

he is playing pinball

in the corner

absorbed

in the steel ball

and the motion

nudging the machine

 

he never sees me

even when the coins

come clinking down

 

home again

after the shuffle

of reentry

 

always jarring

 

i

finally

get

still

 

when everyone is sleeping

 

welcome

to the capitalist paradise

 

i mean the paradise for capitalists

 

thirty years working

nothing to show

financial plan

eventual bankruptcy

punch in the nose

after punch in the soul

while maintaining

balance

 

still

 

earlier today

driving home from work

heavy sky

grey

but low sun shining

horizontal rays

drenching ohio

with golden light

a transfiguration

in soy

and corn

and leaf

beneath the brooding sky

 

breathing deep

sighing

taking it in

with russian hymnody

floating

in the air

calm

and

clear

 

not ready for the chaos

but prepared

 

for the utter incomprehensibility of god

 

and all things

 

 

Painting by Jaison Cianelli

 

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