Five Points, Vol. 14 No. 2Spring 2011
From David Kirby: “Take your time. I’m afraid if I say “patience” one more time, whoever’s reading this interview will lose patience with me. But it works.”
First Mortgage, 1971
I still see the spindles of the kitchen chairs,
The family spaniel begging scraps, in the window
Dusk slowly raising its scrim on pulleys,
I am eight, past Communion, and my father
slits open mail, stacks the bills, then bangs
his forehead like a gavel on the table,
trying to restore some form of order.
The black-and-white Sylvania in the corner
mumbles something jungle, something Rouge.
Checkered moonlight through the lattice.
And now my mother reaches past me, through me,
I am transparent, to rest her hand on top of his.
Not for a second do I think to place my own hand
over hers, and add what consolation I might
against their far adult ordeals. Not, that evening
I can only lower my head (shuffle of foot soles,
whimper from the favorless dog) and catch the stare
of the napkin on my lap: starched, ironed, impossibly blank.