For Matthew Uribe
We wandered west out of those cold ruins,
cutting paths through the hills
like ants, carrying our parents
between our shoulder blades.
He said, I want to die laughing maniacally
at a joke that only you and I would get.
He said Heaven is a garbage dump,
floating in the sky and eating time,
and saluting the clouds above our heads, declared:
I will be in some other form when you swallow me.
If I die before you, I will go diving right in
with my eyes and my mouth hanging open
and my arms pressing forward
to hug the whole filthy mess as it hurtles toward me
and before I get lost in its puzzlepieced
kaleidoscopic mishmosh of star matter and martyr’s blood
the fingers of your parent god wrapped ’round my feet
I want the last word my mouth has the audacity to make
to be “oops.”
Whatever grandeur my soul has
it wears on a rusted chain around its wrist
that you gave to it.
Sometimes, I feel like Mary Shelley
holding her husband’s singed heart in her hands
like a slippery teddy bear
and I get so scared the world is ending
I want to pack the hills shut
with dirt again
and bury myself in my mother’s bed
where the highways are far off
and the darkness that I’ve made to suffocate myself
actually acts as a source of comfort.