Warren’s Way

A single magpie follows. Mocks
my folly down the silky path. Watches
me pass old railway stations. Hops
around mad vegetation. Trembles
like a rabid dog in dirt. Stands
waiting above tunnels and
unnamed bridges, heading
straight for the south coast.

*

I exit the wood with thumbs up.
Pull off my ear defenders
and let lobes
cool off
in oxygen pools.
Enter through the side door.
All rules are abandoned,
like dog tearing up fox.

*

We eat white loaves,
eggs poached,
plastic potatoes,
and a couple of items
off the children’s menu.
My appetite is applauded
and I’m thankful
for such a throwback feast.

*

When drowsiness lets itself in,
both chef and beast
access the same dream.
I’m left with a handful of passions
and tattoos on repeat.
Bite off two fingers. Still chewing rings
when elder spits out the only tongue
he’s ever taught me to imitate.

*

His knowing look
of devilish frenzy.
Our cook wakes up
to nod along
with the crazy.
Dog jumps up
and licks master’s chin.
Begin to think about
the untouched piano keys
hidden behind that golden mouth.
Hope that the carpet can finally retire.

*

Looking through a chintzy cabinet
filled with the same shit since ’86,
I imagine knocking out the wall
my family is so afraid to see fall.
Street becomes a magpie’s nest.
Finally out of the warren’s way.