how a dead possum fell
from a rotten dogwood
the day she brought you home from St. Bartholomew’s.
A bad mark, she’d say, in the Book of Vengeance.
When I revisit the forced rhymes of our childhood,
I’m leveled by lies, hate-storm,
barbed couplets piled in a white grave.
I see her in dreams: Ma scattering
possum bones in the ivy, declaring our father dead.
There are rooms I never leave
no matter how far I wander.
Decades & still that mockingbird in the twilight
moans until my heart is stupefied.
When I put that gun to my temple,
I was playing.