living in the mouth of a guitar
that has not been embraced in years
that sits in a zinc house belonging to a small man
with curved shoulders and hands the size of desperation

she listens

his wife’s singing is the low, downward cry of uncontainable death:
it spreads like graveyard flowers during All Souls Day
the songs fall like the bodies of their eldest son
and youngest daughter
a father who endowed his children
with all the opportunities he had himself,
a mother who passed an infinite lull through her breast milk—
now their children have children
who have died from measles and tuberculosis—

she follows

flying with the weight of trinkets
and sticky burdens
flying over a glass of sugar water
flying like a young mother
who is not yet ready to be a mother

erratic archipelago path
scooping saline memories of fishless summers under her wings:
empty nets desirable objects with undesirable shadows
empty promises
of tomorrow, of an American savior—
she is moonshine hitting a blue rock
and scattering onto eyelids
forever shut forever a fuzzy photograph
in an unfilled wallet

she watches

bringing with her a message of transformation
of the revelation that life continues
next time with wings—
the seraph lifts oppressive dimness from the spirit
and the lungs a hieroglyph of light
superstitious code for opportunity and sacred visits
from the dead

she lands

a tickle on his oily shoulder
the man of the house
a parabola of a lifeline
picks up this guardian angel of garbage and salt
with his index finger and thumb—
knowing the myths, legends, folklore
remembering his own conversations with god—
and squeezes