Not everybody. Not
me or those redwoods up north
in the heat wide and strong
and tall. My only death was a dog.
When I sat there wishing for shrinking,
that can’t be strength.
I held a gun once
in my backyard.
It was Christmas Day.
And once in those redwoods the
dog fell in near the waterfall—
I remember a movie from childhood
but that was a cat
so I have nothing to go off of here.
I have no god. Is that
strength? Am I not saying:
I am strong enough.
Thank you, but I’ll take it from here.
The house I first lived in
with the rabbit in the back
and the memories I have stolen,
the toad in the dogs mouth,
not the dead dog, another, one I never knew.
My father has the cancer cut
from his back and later twists
in the mirror to cut the stitch.
Strength? And after the death
He waits ‘til the sun sets—is it?