My Father’s Suitcase

Dad’s suitcase stands out in my mind
Torn synthetic leather
Stuffed with videos and torn underwear
Cinders filled our eyes
And the superhuman vision
Of a man running down the steps

Me and my sisters
Looped our little girl bodies
Around his size 15 feet
Cried on his shoes
And screamed “Don’t go! Please!”

The stapled rugs of the trailer floor
Vibrated with the longing of little girls
Who vowed to always sit in silence
Silent, from now on,
If only he would come back inside

This affected my voice

We stayed indoors playing dolls
Quietly on our beds and passing notes between the wall

Our husbands’ feet were soaked in tears
With a voice we could find only in beggary
And when we saw any man running for a door.






sometimes I don’t feel you’re good
for me, he says

good enough, is what she hears

like that time
all the times

in the trailer on the sewers
with a yard that had to be dug
up every summer
so that nothing could grow

she also hears what he says
just perfectly as it is

without any pretense
I don’t feel you’re good

I don’t feel

I don’t



A queer thing about that house:
There are no birds there, or enough
To bicker over whether it’s alive

Its windows blush flaxen in the hours
Between 2 and 4
With a radiance peculiar, familiar
Any man walking by will press his cheek to the pane
Just to feel the thrilling dissonance,
The paradox of being revolted and enticed
In equal portion
By its homey homelessness

The woman appears at 3:37
To make a speech:

What she regrets most about her life
Is that the brash piece of siding that always swings
Apart from the rest of the house
Gives it all away
About what is inside

She could stand the eyesore
If the house was unbreakable


Anything but hunger
       — ing

After all of this

Has settled
Down debris, be seated

Pillage and core
Rows upon rows of deserted homes
Wanting kin

Each Friday evening set to burn
But too empty to catch, quite

Human hunger in the Autumn
Is better than none
For anything

Why dreaming of sinew and all that bone?
Everyone knows

The Marble Faun
Will not survive
Settled under all that soft on soft, soft too
Coaxes and heals

The hound of the self
Comes to feed no more
When hunger has a different name.