He often appeared dressed
in my father. He wore my father’s
weariness in remarkable shades
of blue. The thief bears, always,
the promise of speaking on behalf
of us all. The way he unplugged
the refrigerator when it would send
waves through my father’s brain;
Through my brain, that’s how he put it.
The conversations with men in blue
jeans and turtlenecks, sharing a flask
and telling jokes only the thief could hear.
Or, the skin of my father stretched
tight around the thief’s finger when he
aimed it at me—that was the day we began
to mark time by waiting. Even simple
meals threaten me to grow hungry huge.
I want to tell my worries but find each time
there are no takers. The thief’s landscape builds
under foot, and when I stretch my way up
the stairs in the dark, where the stiff joints ply
at the pine tethered stairs—I am the old dog,
seven years fast. The thief comes to tuck me in,
his jokesters, dressed in blue, are earlier than expected.