Orphans

The guardian is asleep

dogging the lacy upstairs rooms

with his heavy, canine presence.

His teeth drip like knives.

We have been running the stairs,

the closets and the storage areas,

diving on dust in the basement

accumulations of furniture,

until we slip like fish

into a tank of water

into that sleep, his sleep

where dreams proved cloudy,

rainy-day, misted dreams

until one clears like tap water

let stand. We see ourselves

plastered in the back of the van

to ice cream, our eyes rolling

our hair poking up straight,

our mouths bleeding

on the way with vanilla

to nowhere north in particular.

Published in the 1997-09-12 issue: 
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