Hours Turning Rocks
by Hezekiah Allen
I know this guy who keeps all his horniest poems in the refrigerator,
stuffed in a grocery bag. He wraps each precious word in the air-tight
seal of cfc's right next to the beer and dried-out leftovers, as if
that will save them from the wrath of the poetry world once he's gone--contain
all the death and love and sex for posterity.
When I was younger, I would smuggle books about sex into the library
bathroom because I was too embarrassed to check them out. I'd huddle
down in one corner of the handicapped stall way up on the third floor
and I'd read about breast size and penis sensitivity, like I was studying
My mother finally convinced granma to seal the edges of familial silence
with fire, to burn her marriage certificate to my grandfather. All of
this to keep my uncle from understanding that he's a bastard. It's the
act of not telling that keeps it from sinking in.
I knew this woman once, back when I was a kid; she used to tell me
about death, illness, religious conversion, all within the cheery, tea
pot walls of her kitchen. "I've spent hours turning rocks," she would
say in metaphor, laughing. It was all lined up in her bathroom sink,
her crystal dishware, her book shelves. No mourner ever found soft secrets
hidden in a corner drawer. At death, her life was in perfect order.
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
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