Prayer Closet

I just went to my closet for pajamas,
Dang it,
Stepping over dirty laundry dogs
Breathing in the dark. I reach for a purple sweatshirt,
Foot breaking on a box of crafts.
Dang it.

Even in the dark
My day clouds the room like smoke,
Crowds heavy and sticky into my chest.

I think I hate horror films because
This world and my mind are already a cinema of terror and madness.

I fold the sweatshirt to my chest and exhale.

“I love every fragment of you, just as it is. Every broken frame of mind…I stare it in the face, still fascinated.
Still proud.

I know every heart sliver and lethal thought that ever was.
I grieve the death and madness.
I have worn it in my skin, too.”

I tuck my face into royal folds,
Shoulder slumping against pimpled white wall,
And I drip down it to closet floor,
Tears pooling and face falling
Into dirt speckled carpet and sweaty clothes.
I inhale.


Dad used to own a muscle car.
“A black Pontiac Trans Am Firebird,”
he told me. Those words were legos
built into a boxy body I didn’t understand,
but I sat on the calico living room carpet,
twig legs folded, lip bit, meditating.

Dad bought a broken down Trans Am.
“I’m going to fix it–but never drive it
in the snow,” he said. For months
I spied on him, a wooden doll laminated
by our glowing computer box, one finger dialing the mouse roll,
eyes of glass. Then he’d pace our gravel drive in his cowboy boots.

I used to dangle my naked feet from our splintered porch
and pretend he was there, too, my imaginary friend–
swinging his pointy boots in the yellow tumbleweed wind.

I used to fumble to build a bridge
between us with my lego-words–
but he always hoarded the pieces.

He never fixed the car. A truck towed it
sometime after he didn’t fix his marriage.
Now that I’m grown he calls every few months
to reminisce about the good ol’ days,
but all I can remember
are the things we never built together.