We were alive, two thunderbirds cradled
in a cafe. One-moment-men causing
composition. Too many people cut
into our photos then – the one in black
playing the base, the thumping
bloodpulse of my early heat. The one
to burn up good love, good
shelter, sense. And then, the one who
promised to take my daring
over the canyon, sleep with piñon –
a mesquite smoldering heartache, that one.
Now when we are together, we
mimic grace – talk about the talons,
stumble over cats – their whiskers
stained like blushing hookers. Our children
now with children. And us
holed up in our sorrows, replaced
with the long cars that drive into
I was 10 when your heart began beating.
You, the wandering one – the one who dosen’t write,
smile or splinter the way the floorboards do
under socked feet. The long December mornings
all of us, lined up in hats and gloves,
shattered the air with our breath.
I know other brothers from other families equally
fragile. They are the ones who who write poems
sometimes or get lost in the machinery sparks
and after-hours. Silence kills, you know.
After 5 heart attacks and two strokes,
we put our grandpa in the ground. But
you were too young to remember. The years
under the apple tree, his stories of war
and human miseries locked in the depths
of him. He was not a nice man.
But you – still a gleam in the eye,
or a hushed nightengale song, would not
have known. On a cold Indiana morning,
we write the letters we will one day
Put it on.
You know what will move me.
Put it on, the false face,
the one I want to kiss.
It’s a beauty. It is just what
I want. Put on the snow
my feet wet with you. Put
on the wings. Wear
the avenue. In the night
I’ll walk your
warmth and headlights.
Put on this spine
lovely. Put it on,
with blank walls,
for your body’s
Aleah Sato is a marketing manager and co-owner of Ricksticks Inc, a visual communications firm in Toronto. She is the author of the recently released book Badlands and the forthcoming Stillborn Wilderness (Pooka Press 2007). Her work has appeared in Nthposition, Adirondack Review, Wicked Alice, Blue Fifth Review and Eclectica. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her blog, Jane Crow Journal.