The idea of its existence is a most unfortunate joke.
The distance from my mother’s job
at Exxon to her apartment, always walking
with her head down. In the neighborhood,
known for her thick legs & her suspicion.
The distance between suspicion & safety,
distance from safety to silence. The distance
between silences—my mother’s,
mine: love too close to loyalty,
& that’s where we get lost—
wading through intimacy’s alphabet.
Homecoming like a nuclear power plant,
the most vulnerable spot in Texas,
even more so than its heart. Deep in the,
deep in the, deep in the . . . the fans can’t seem
to finish the anthem tonight, four claps
in succession wane like stars
despite the Astros’ lead, & skyscrapers
behind the stadium crowd like middle fingers.