In tight, explosive lines, Terry Lucas tackles the challenging subjects of violence and mental illness without sensationalizing.
God spoke to my cousin
of old cars. Waterfalls,
hand saws. Calibrated
in railroad ties, iron rails
singing under boxcars
like strings beneath bows
of countless cellos. God
whispered from the deep
taught him how to use a steak
knife, how to remove a rib
from the waitress. Showed him
an escape route through the garden.
In the hospital there were angels
between walls. Sobbing
in the water pipes, the radiators.
They traveled the city in sirens at night,
until his doctors locked them away
behind bars of lithium. Now he stands
by the Golden Gate, listens
to foghorns on the bay, sea lions
billowing up from Pier 39,
prays in unknown tongues, casting
for some lost chord. Only the wind
in the wind. Waves in the waves.
Previously published, in a slightly different version, in Alehouse.
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