6 minutes to Ballinger, Texas I missed you. Not possessing the ability to stop all the clocks, I watched windmills instead, recording the flat, hot, windy stretch of road while the Catholic radio station came in so clear with words of uneven comfort. I picture you a Ghibli bride, birdcage veil like Jackie Kennedy, always dainty, smallest, sweetest bouquet of flowers held between your front two paws as you proceed toward our mutual Savior, unswerving in his gaze.
…and he turns loose the South Wind…drenched wings, night-black armor where face should have been…
Saw you once
In the photo booth of grief
Just before the Flood.
Now that I have seen the diamondback rattler in the domain of children I see him again everywhere–the darkness notched between sidings and foundations, lassoed water hoses resting in the sun, tree branches in the grass, all become the skin and flesh and memory of the foolish man who held just the severed head of his deadly foe too close to human skin.
We keep the most dangerous pets coiled in emptied potato salad containers, hastily labeled with words too awful to write down in anything but