when the boy drawn to priesthood kissed me, his mouth burned.
with triple-layer onion skin and a crucifix tongue, he tumbled
down from a cloud at 9 and snapped his legs in half.
for six nights, the siren sounds bled into mourning.
all great men are bound to fracture. when a bone twists into fury,
breathe sharply through your nose – three times like siren song –
and recall the scent of your mother’s perfume.
we hang wet clothes in the closet in the habit of mistaking
good men for heroes. for so long, i have not had a hero.
my father stomachs the blow of scarred mouths and ambulance
bells. the boy cloaked in liturgy, his hands only build mountains.
if you overturn a single pebble, the river still streams.
when i tanned the rocks a golden brown – the sun shining
down on their jagged curvature – we sang the song of gentle sirens.
Bible pages blowing in the breeze, two legs healing from the
inside out, no more than lungs and feathers and laundry lines.