So hell has an address.
Death has a door.
And the devil’s in room 3A.
The kid on the stoop will let you in.
It’s up a creaky staircase.
It’s straight but seems to wind.
Old Clootie’s stretched out
on a maggoty sofa, grinning flames.
There’s a price even for agony.
Pay up or you don’t get to burn.
It’s your soul plus a week’s wages
at the restaurant, busboy.
So hell is a business card.
Death’s a transaction.
The rest is life.
But who’s resting?.
she makes excuses for the rain,
covers her ears at the first sign
of thunder, feels her haze of fog
as the sun, the world, fades away
she makes excuses for the storm,
buries her head beneath pillows,
pretends to be asleep, pretends
to be deaf to the crashing world
the banging outside in the yard
she waits, still quiet, still inside
cautious of the returning storm,
creeps outside so slow after noon
topples the beer can pyramids
piled high all over the driveway.
you give me refuge from everything real, wrap
me in cool water, bright thoughts of tomorrow.
demons howl outside my door, vampires hide in
my shadow, persistent salesmen rap loudly
at my window–my life tries to get back in.
you make the dead buildings and dusty smog and
bloody road kill disappear, fade to creeping
ivy and tall, fork-toed waterbirds, present
me with talismans dedicated to some
silent, strong god, one that never interrupts
we rolled the windows
up against the rain
and my father said
“I wonder what that
of yours is doing
right now” and I just
looked out through the glass
and said nothing, watched
countryside slide past
in varying shades
of green. behind me
the tired baby cried
in his car seat, tired
of being strapped in
for six hours straight and
I wanted to cry
but I don’t do that.
outside the car, corn
the onslaught of rain
sparse trees danced in waves
of rippling light
and everything I
was going to be
faded into black
far, far behind us.