Going to Press

Going to Press

Each morning, my family sleeps
while I press

their lives into lines, 1500 thread-count
lines that curve and rise

like hills, the hill country they still
are in bed, momentarily

still, a geography of sound sleep
I enter, shaman-like,

as smoke, Dunhill Early Morning smoke,
soothsayer, saying

what they will not, won’t often think
to say, soothing

my way through floodplain covers—
the son’s abandon-

ment, order my school books,
, the wife’s

estrangement and my lies, why
did you hide

your travel plans to the hot July Delta, to
Blues, jukes and cotton—

the daughter’s deep
hurt, a space big as

race, why did my real mom give
me up?

and why? is smoke and words,
a partial felling of trees

and clearing of land, a burning off
that leaves a line

of sight ending only in more trees,
a hard to say,

no matter how rich the alluvial plain
or straight or rising

toward dawn the fascicle
of lines.


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