Absent Plain

At a diner, parenting questioned, cheap coffee tastes like excuses; the stale toast like an elegy recollects lonely druggin’ Denver days and his pop a salesman on Great Plains.

Higher than stomped ceiling; limbs fused to tulip chairs and glazed on the knotted Macramé. Like rounds of tether ball— “That Brazilian Gold,” fire hooked mid ceiling; nights interchain.

Used to sparkle of ruby, plus the smooth fit of an old heirloom—baseball mitt. A past perfect “Contender,” sketches of him drawn with a stick of fusain.

He’s outside Omaha, jeaned, flannelled, stands in the flickering abysm on flat plains. The aurora borealis, he can’t see it though he knows it’s still there, somewhere, plain.

“Pink elephants fox-trotted across the molding and window frame that night,” he said. Acid days, mounds of cocaine, gold fish in the heel of platform shoes; nothing plain.

Out west in Denver, his eyes were set on dying light blending slopes metamorphic. Jealous by what he can’t cut; yearns for no stops, one-way to California as there’s no plains.

“He can’t make fire bleed? White inna white world!” Her mixed son shrugs, eclipsing ears. Fixture at Chris’ and other bums drinking to better days, which won’t come, to put it plain.

Marble bar of Irish Spring son’s traumatized by the instability and homelessness.  Renting two rooms out, a husky dog, glass cases, a grandfather clock, slow, drab gongs plain.

That ’98 white mustang: sputtering, a graveyard for cigs, valleys of choking ash. Marks on clothing, marks on skin, that COPD scaring the lungs, wheezing again.

A child left, in an abandoned house and the feeling of wilderness. Your shared genes walk the world oblivious in his privilege; my heart swells of disdain.

How the night was shared in a quartet: a baby’s face, suffocation, excuse, the dark sequenced void. San Francisco bound, sour bottle champagne, a child’s pretenses fizzing over those flat plains.

Stares at a plane ticket, a boarding call, one way in night sky’s abysm, two paths, he takes the easiest. Four children w/o a father—a windless, restless, lonely plain.


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