Apr/May 2018 What Is Looming

What Is Looming

by Matthew Bruce Harrison

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

What Is Looming

Sometimes I think life is designed / delay / until I am
                                 squeezed into the bite that stings / grounded by my son's returning

                                 swing against my chest / returning my gaze from a jetliner stitching
clouds to the pendulum of him singing / Higher / in

delays / or my heart neglecting a beat / bringing
                                 my thumb and index to the beat inside my throat / my faked relief

                                 exhaled against a mirror / or my cellphone's text tone called Aurora /
lighting the message of my grandmother's death

in the snow-covered Legacy a friend drove
                                 to trivia / I think / my grandmother's maple casket nicer than anything

                                 she'd ever had / her expression blank to my embarrassment for arriving
in the limo she reserved in the 80s for this day

post-millennium / She seems alive still / is
                                 in bacteria
/ maybe wind / I was thinking when her kid brother clenched

                                 my shoulder and said / I'm here with you / as if to mean / for now / as if
to prove it / He died soon after she did / after

fifty years of driving a semi North to South / Harley
                                 in retirement / hogging the same route / bike later parked / cooling

                                 in maple shade behind his sister's funeral / radiator ticking / The blanket
she knitted while sick feels made from the same cloud

wisps that fill stuffed animals and lies
                                 on my son's bed / He calls it My Holey One / He sleeps all under it /

                                 breathing through the holes / Sometimes I think she is present in invisible
skin cells that powder his cheeks / making him

sneeze / my bless you meaningless / or necessary /
                                 my wish a limousine whispering the switchbacks / static on the radio /

                                 windows down so the wind is Tender Shepherd / I don't mean to / delay /
what I've been getting at / I am sounding it out /

coughing up bits of torn cloud that float
                                 about my house / Slap / kiss / pinch / piss / and other onomatopoeia

                                 get closer to the deep oomph of blood I try to pin with thumb and index /
I'm looking for the missed way in / For instance /

the night a friend palmed a latched box
                                 carved with runes / Under the lid / suspended / a mussel shell folded

                                 open / like wings / insides creamy blue / like two finger paintings of dusk
fog or seafloor brine / beating when I tugged

a thread / Scooped of life / the mechanical angel
                                 toy angered me / betokened a need to rescue my friend from the friend

                                 who gave the gift / For instance / a friend argued the sudden violence
of my characters / delayed / what is human / popped

him out of my story / In the meantime students sang
                                 ironic nursery rhymes outside / proving my amber hunch that autumn

                                 is the soundtrack of reruns / Listening / I knew I'd be Dad next time
the season for such songs came / watching a being

part-me sleep under everything that happened before
                                 s/he was imagined / Finally / the first time I drank too much / I pretended

                                 to be much drunker / wandered from the Halloween bash my friend threw
at his parentless home to the ghost

farm across the mute two lanes of Declaration
                                 Road / sat butterfly under a lightning-struck / dead / maple to see the fun

                                 shadows in amber glass drain / Lucifer mask draped behind my head /
looking back at Venus / Friends pricked the mosquito loom /

pinched my fibers from the morning / singing
                                 my name in synchronized / delays / I remember thinking how endings

                                 often begin that way / suspended / remember wanting to return / I think /
but I stayed / I bit my lips to stinging / I licked the sting.


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