standing in the kitchen
in your indiana jones hat,
you roll out the last tortilla
(put cheese in the middle and don’t forget the oil of life
— and lots of it)
and talk to the dog.
max whines from the floor, rearranging tirelessly every time his
pawpads slip on the dirty white tiles. you always ask me if i really think
he has thoughts. i know what i want to believe:
now, he is dreaming of finding something magical to eat that
will not only taste good for the two seconds it’s in his mouth,
but that will also make him grow and grow, until he
measures one full table
(at the withers).
max—the romantic—would be icarus
if only the sun was made of sausage.
maybe even a single blueberry.
while he’s dreaming, his nightmare is also closer than he thinks.
sometimes he growls in his sleep, feet twitching like electrical switches
in a binary race. i wonder what it is he can’t escape while awake. i
wonder if he knows what’s coming.
i want to remember the texture
of the orangest thing in this room
your mother’s smile
when she kneaded dough,
the way she put on socks,
the tangerine earrings,
the forked interstates of her face.
her deathbed, that creamsicle tea,
stiff contours and soft curves
and lines that only exist on paper.
i used to stare up at the milky way
wondering whose eyes i was gazing into
on the other side.
now i know they’re hers, the galactic sunset
like a firebomb
and i’m two good eyes away from seeing her again.
you smile. and
you are orange.
Pines sway; a wind moans from below the cliff.
Families are bundled together, gazing
toward sagging skies as flakes tumble down.
They seem to be watching angels, descending
from heaven to bring them God’s blessing. But I see
ghosts of ash reminding me of the ‘07 wild fire
fueled by Santa Ana winds that
swallowed my grandmother sick
in her bed, the house charring so quickly
like a marshmallow dropped
into a campfire flame. My mother drapes
her arm over my shoulder and asks
if anything is wrong.