and I am it

like tag

a smattering of kids are songbirds

the trees are songbirds

the breeze sings like it was born with a beak

and needs to shush its kids

asleep the lake freezes over

like tag

and waits for spring to crawl right through it

the fishes don’t die

though some do

and I am it

like apocalypse

in a book to confuse amity

with enmity and join hands

amit with emit and wait by the fire

this one looks like my father I say to the clouds

it looks like rain

and the fire pit smokes

and I emit

something like a songbird

the flapping like feathered motors

in each cheek

the battering of a crankshaft in winter

is like manmade spring

untagged from stasis

and smoke through its throat-hole

always smoke

and I admit

I want something more austere

than a lecture on child-rearing

but that’s all the library’s got

til spring and a guide on folding oneself

into something less pretty

and I am it you think

ready the carapace

in apocalypse things kiss like kids

and make up mouth-games around nostalgia

and I admit an ember to mine

emit a song so hot it drops

this instant and me on repeat

birdsong spinning upon a needle

I’m not asking for sympathy I say

resentful of lost sleep

and I am it

like leftovers like wet kindling

like before there was choice there was beauty

in an un-partitioned brain

enough gravy left for the poultry

enough tupperware and we could snuff a flame

did you cover the wood enough before the rain

well did you

an iamb is a heartbeat

to you like a student

my son’s quick breaths

aren’t shallow to a small bird

I could drown you in an inch of water

in the bathtub and wait for you to shiver

like winter before the sun

personify the seasons because we’re bad

at change my kid calls out his dad in clouds

his dad in flames

the crankshaft symbolizes

anything you want

and preys

like apocalypse

like wintered voices

like it found a beak to put on for spring

tag you’re it you’re it

your cylinder his carapace

his cylinder your throat

holy shit you say

you’re it you say I got you

I admit the gas and flame

and breeze in like spring

a breeze like winter

puckers my lips like not a kiss

but nostalgia for a more austere

set of sticks to rub together

this time with twigs I got

from the nest of a songbird

its kid still alive

its kid’s still alive in spring

I’ve got to steal from the nest

of a burning fire pit

my dad in flames

my god I can’t believe the things that survive

the winter my dad’s hands

at the crankshaft hold the light

he says with his hands

hold it here

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