Gracias to imaginary red ants that eat the American torso through, vast oak shaking in a musky thicket of horrible impenetrable brush
that pretends not to shed human tremors and skin, that pretends not to rise in sweat and writhe slowly in the rank mud and thick dust,
reeking creosote stench of endless night.
Gracias to the red ants that eat the dirty oil and numbers off aluminum and stars.
Gracias to the cracks filigreeing my eyeglasses and my eyesight, that spread where my shadow falls on error, in the ringing of my ears
all night where stiffness overtakes my face gone left or right, in little thoughts drifting like chalk dust off stars of chalk,
fingers of dirt on money of my little thoughts I sent to you when you weren’t there, dead American bank of old dad, for deposit in the
cracks of the town of drunken shipyard hills where you walked up and down, in order not to kill in order to die.
Gracias, gracias again for “red forgetting,” also, in tremors scurrying into a vastness opening suddenly across the clear sight of your reddened eyes,
across from east to west, tipping land shuddering back and forth behind the dirty windshield of a vehicle that supposedly went away,
went from here to there (supposedly), before somebody’s “red forgetting” falls upon us like the rotted park awning overcome with wind,
anything turning was nothing, nothing was like anything, everything in that red emptiness.
Gracias for instructive terror of regret, a penny for your fortune at the entrance to the five & dime, for your thoughts back of the bar,
a penny for Abe Lincoln, a nickel for a buffalo and an Indian, secret ore in one shoe only when all shoes come paired, secret town
existing only over the right shoulder and open water over the left, belt blackened by anxiety cinched unutterably tight, half-grin
of uncles also who looked in and tumbled in to die, too.
Pull that knot taut, finally, tomorrow.
—for Nacho and Ray