When the sun is just at the horizon
and it’s impossible to tell whether it’s dusk
or dawn, l rise among alders and
wander the inner self of the house.
First stepping inside is worse
than seeing grandmother’s bra on the line.
It’s too private for eyes to casually caress.
But this is when I get to know them.
Sarah, here, is my mother. Her face has grown loose,
and she has forgotten me down to a dream.
l don’t want to see her clay-colored nipple
peeking from her twisted night clothes, but that’s
why l am here. I can’t make myself feel like me,
only these details can. Soft breathing
conspires with all my memories.
I’ll pass my brother’s and sister’s rooms.
Seeing their faces sagging on pillows
would be too much like seeing them dead.
When he’s awake, Bertram, sprawled here
on the couch, is our father.
Like this, he’s a husband caught in the aftermath
of a quarrel. Tossing and slapping his pillow,
he reminds me of his anger. But when he’s quiet,
the head of his penis sliding through
the gap of his pajamas, I remember the boy in him
I’ll never meet, all the rocks he threw
and tombstones he tumbledall
that he cannot remember now.
The new light pries them from their sheets,
the day surrounds them like breakfast cereals,
and already they have begun to forget
the house where l must go to sleep.