Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hungry People


Fry the bird and stuff its ass
full of fat and potato,
stuff its head with lard and butter
and sip its blood like a tall glass
of milk.

Uncle Eddie, take another drink,
I'll go shot for shot with you - you pour
I'll swallow.
I see that mask over your eyes, that
thin glaze of crumbling life, of arteries
clogged and love missing the ladder
rungs,
much like this.

feel the claustrophobic china
plates - the musk of PaPa's old sweater,
but he's dead now so
I guess we won't be smelling
that stink
again. Put another

notch in the warped wicker
door frame; "another year
we all stayed afloat, another year
we can be together." Oh, hold my hand
PaPa, hold my whale-blimp hand
and I'll hold yours, bony and dead,
but not at this table.

Not now, not amongst rejecting
hearts and failing livers, not amongst
fake smiles,
stories about how Brittany is doing
in school; you don't give a fuck,
you're dying! Oh sweet end,
the table dripping with gravy the color
of milky come, turniped squash mashed with
cinnamon, arugula and basil and tomatoes
and the
dying.

the sweet end, the last supper
with us, PaPa, and you can't even remember
our names. You can't remember
Uncle Eddie
and how the rum ruined
his children, you can't remember
his insides as coarse as sandpaper,
you can't remember Brittany dropping
out of the nursing program, picking up
with what-the-fuck's-his-name; you can't
remember me standing next to you,
by your burnished coffin, kneeling like the rest,
pretending to moan out a prayer, when
I really didn't say anything
at all.


--Bryan S. Way just graduated from Bridgewater State University. In the following years, he will be living on the road and in the mountains, developing community with the precision of a vagabond, and exploring the depths of character that can only be attained through the willing rejection of comfortable living. And he will write about it.

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