Bible Belt – Late Winter 2009

Old antenna television leaked like fumes into that apartment—
a constant murmur of light streamed between gusts of static
boiling against the screen—bleating loud
in a way that you and I stopped noticing.

The living room floor was always spread with all our blankets,
the blinds always sleeping, just your sienna candles burning
in the dark between the brass crosses on your bedroom walls
and the freezing thunder rain that glazed the drained pool
in the yard—concrete webbed with summer’s algae, grown
like bolts out of cracks and stained, yellow grass shed
from the lawn, trembling around the drain in the deep end.

An unspoken vow of out-waking, the abandon of sleep—
adderall and cocaine and coding and decoding words
stammered quietly as if we were anonymous between hours
of silence, or staring, or rocking in our places—watching
thunderheads erupt warnings into themselves—swelling out
and rolling past, eddying all the red dust into clay.

I was eager for spring’s redemption but you delivered yourself
from want before the thaw. Now, somehow, you miss that heresy,
and there are days that I can too—a warm room, candle-lit
and a spotty channel, suspended between sleep and waking,
restraint and never having touched—God battering omens
from the stratum of deep green-gray mold overhead,
the vacant pool always welling, always drying.