Adam Day

Bricolage II

After and for Molly Brodak

People are wild and small and don’t live very long.

The first to die are the ones who don’t tell stories:

mouse masks and leaky chamber pots and pine

straw and red embroidery and the ugly song

a crow teaches her son so he can sleep.

They tilt their dark half dome eyes up for hawks:

the sky is open all the way; workers upright

on the line like spokes. Impossible dreams –

like building a birdhouse underwater. Dark pasts

are only good at coming back. Each day ahead

is lake black. The holy lies between things.

You hope you are remembering something

when you see it. Come back from there. If there is

no one else here. I’m not either. Half of me feels

strangled, a hard curve in a dirt road. I can’t see

ahead. The last time I saw myself alive, I drew

the curtain back from the bed, stood by my sleeping

body. You will save yourself. You cannot help it.

Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Award. His work has appeared in the APR, Boston Review, The Progressive, Volt, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He is the publisher of Action, Spectacle.