The night my father recanted
years of life and used the pieces
to build breakfast, my mother tore my
eyes and mouth from my head at 3 a.m.
Wide with fire, she told me
we were leaving
and would never gather ash.
We drove to a reservation under the gates
of our sins, and she tumbled down
her life with my father,
the man who took
our furniture from its grave
and sent it to Colville.
To take penance in the
un-burial, she told me
he sacrificed our whiskey. She planned
everything for my father. And in his
hands, breakfast and all,
the house we had chosen for a foundation.
[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “House Fires” which appears
in his book, The Business of Fancydancing]
You drink these mornings alone and nothing
can be woken; you forgive the last
light bill, swallow bees from the can
beside the bed; warm strangers sleeping
on the floor go home too easy.
To be no one on moist pavement, only
lightly worried about familial tastes
more concerned with how to open the fridge.
You walk alone with nothing to do, wandering
within a country that revolves around rooms
without color or milk. Tasting the mirror
you found in the rancid rain, the walls seem closer
and you open the fridge again the right way
and you can never find the fridge again
for a beer, you find only the trash and drink it.
These holes are too familiar.
[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “Poverty of Mirrors” which
appeared in his book, I Would Steal Horses]
Down past the television in the shack
where the tracks keep the tin walls
breathing, God dreams of 1976
and the tattered couch left in the snow,
bouncing off the fourth quarter, falling
back to the corner where my father throws
glass across the room like a train
between field goals, shattering past
the upright. My father’s roar, suspended
by sound, stands eagle-armed
and carries him over its shoulders like a
platform, as he whistles for God and 1976
to pick him up, to leave this lover behind.
[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “Sudden Death” which
appeared in his book, The Business of Fancydancing]