there are so many scratches on the hardwood floor
and i look to them for patterns, words, a script of some kind—
a scripture, even, written by the soles leather loafers—
to lead me to a guiding light. the telephone remains silent
so much so that i think i'll need to do some yoga soon
just to hear the creaking in my bones, breaking this silence
and the white noise from the television. my sister lies in bed
while i sit in a vinyl rocking chair that creaks so painfully;
at this point i would rather have the silent. my sister flips through
the channels: ball player from the White Sox setting an RBI record:
i might go for a record sometime, somehow, somewhat.
i wonder why i always think in threes: trinities, Catholics,
Jack White, even—red, white, and black—threes are nothing to me
because i live my life in fours. i want to live my life in fours:
me, my wife, two kids. four. everything takes four.
i have yet to see a doctor here, only nurses and thousands of photos
and terrible paintings of babies, mothers, something reminding my sister
of what she has to do: pick flowers with her children by a stream
or hold her newborn and grin. i think of you, how this was almost you
and how i for some reason feel it in me: i am pregnant with my own guilt
while you were pregnant with reality. i shouldn't speak of this.
i wonder what poem i will read to Isabella first—i have to do something
so that she is not born in the white noise i was born into.
what will be her lullaby? her brother loved "Electrolite," but she is not
a farewell to the Twentieth Century: in reality i won't see her that much
because i will go away, which in this town is the equivalent of death.
so i have to make a memory for her. "Trapeze Swinger." begins with
Please remember me. i just want her to remember me because i'll be practically dead
to her after today.