A Dam On the Eve of Breaking

There is a creeping landscape
taking refuge in my front yard,
haunted by the ghosts of my tired youth. 

I hide behind a dust-strewn veil.
In a story covered by rosewood,  
I can not bring myself to leave. 

There is a sound that resonates
trapped inside the foundation
of this tired weathered tomb. 

I remember the joyous feeling the ivory
gave me through a screen in the garden
with my father trapped inside. 

Sound slowly sewed through the dirt
in a time before the grass took apart
his scattered shaking wrists. 

My mother was there; her hands
a combination of yellow and blue
—discolored from the flowerbeds. 

Royalty was dragged into her lungs, 
turning her voice into a spirit
that bled through my father's ears. 

Emptying herself, she became a shell
shaping us into names
we'd never thought we'd be. 

Once she left us, his life became full
of hillsides and boulders—
a weight he could not carry by himself. 

Eventually the rusted springs, where
she once lay, consumed him, and he
joined her in the forest she had loved. 

As he left, I held his disconnected
hands. Salt lacing my tongue as his
forced truth from behind his teeth: 

"A snake is living here, writing your
name in the dirt under the crumbling
branches that were once full of knowledge." 

Now, there are two snakes of ivory, and
only the sand and the heat are keeping
me from hearing their temptations. 

Still, I hide behind panes covered with dust
atop rotting rosewood, afraid to
let go of the sounds holding me here.