UnawareWhen you are two and five and tenUnaware by Campbe
you are unaware ––
of the cactus in the windowsill,
how, fragile, each quill bends
and breaks and falls apart.––
Twelve years later, on a Tuesday,
you dream about a boy
who bumps his head
on an iron slate and you wake
in a cold sweat.
You are twelve when you are
always bumping shoulders.
Twenty-two years of Thursday.
There is nothing at all.
And you wonder (and
you wonder why)
each time you wake.
The cactus in the window bleeds
with you when you bump it.
No one ever mentioned
frightened things bite.
So you have always been unaware.
SaturdayWe slept on the floor when you drank.Saturday by Campbe
– Like worried puppies
too small to reach the bed,
and sat with our backs to the wall
by the bathroom while you showered,
we hid car keys,
Peering over ledges,
I watched your listless eyes
wander to windows
thinking of your mother and marriage,
toes curled around the coffee table corner,
and we begged you to sleep.
Zach cleaned the sinks,
the rugs and the ashtrays,
capped the bottles and placed them
high on the shelves.
You woke to cartoons,
a headache, a fresh
pack of cigarettes. –
We never talked on Sunday mornings.
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