FIVE MEMORIES OF A BOY FROM EAST TEXAS

Doss Texas landscape and catfish heads

Texas landscape with catfish heads

one
Raw mornings
red meat of the dawn across my shoulders.
Unsettled grackles in fig trees
breath leaving their beaks as balls of startled smoke.

two
Geese in blue fog lifting clumsy out of rice fields.
Seed bull in an unplowed field bellowing
a warning.
Heffers in the pines, tick birds on their backs
calling, “forlorn, forlorn, forlorn”.

three
Blunt odor of rain held in red clay
heavy in the lungs as the smell of hog’s blood.
Night crawlers washed to the surface of the road
gathered into a dixie cup.
Used to fish for sun perch in Stephen’s Creek
where roots of white magnolia try to take hold of you
try to draw you down into green water.

four
Mildew rising out of cattails.
Everything alive breathing lungs full of damp
holding it deep in the chest
as if a single breath can be a refuge
a home.

five
In every heart there is a bullet hole seeping blood through limestone.

 

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