Thursday, April 5, 2012

ALUMINUM BEDS





When he pulls up in a truck and hefts new beds
into the house to replace our camp cots,
we see the dark in a metal’s dull sheen
is the dark displayed in his beard. The sound
rushing through the hollows of the square posts,
the frames, guards and rails, is the sound rushing
through the spaces he has made within us.
He sets them all down, the pieces he measured,
sheared, and welded together in the evenings
in his father’s factory, while I, half hidden
in among the machines, gathered up scrap
fallen to the cement floor. The four beds
stand in our shared room, one for each of us --
with this he fulfills his unwanted office.
He leaves us soon after, and I keep vigil.
Nightly I allow not one of my brothers
to speak or even audibly breathe. I know
that the sound of any of our young voices
will distract the light trying to make its way
through the fitted substance of the metal. I know
at the same time that this light is my father
searching for his sons. He does not know it --
long before he left us, his love began travelling
to us apart from him. If I memorize him,
I will be able to see the love. If I cut
from myself all that is not my love for him,
the right set of rays will find us. My brothers
fall asleep one by one. I lie and wait
for my dream. There is no space not swirling,
no fire with its core of blackness not burning,
within the beds’ angular emptiness
because of the love meant for us. Through the night,
the metal embraces me. It is a skeleton,
unending silver, pure and cold, and I become it,
the light of my father’s love arrived at last.