It isn't how we look up close so much as in dreams. Our giant is not so tall, our lizard boy merely flaunts crusty skin- not his fault they keep him in a crate and bathe him maybe once a week. When folks scream or clutch their hair and poke at us and glare and speak of how we slithered up from Hell, it is themselves they see: the preacher with the farmer's girls (his bulging eyes, their chicken legs) or the mother lurching towards the sink, a baby quivering in her gnarled hands. Horror is the company you keep when shades are drawn. Evil does not reside in cages.
Achingly Beautiful How the Sky Blooms Umber at the End of the Day, Through the Canopy
Summers spent practicing in the apartment
stairwell: hand on the bannister, one foot after
another. Did I ever tell you I couldn’t walk
until I was three and then sort of dragged
myself up and downstairs until I was seven
or eight? That burgundy carpet.
I’d stop to breathe and look out the window,
over brick tenements, toward the Capitol
building. Oak leaves so full of late summer
sun even I thought, “Obscene” and stood stunned
for a moment. My God. The urge to rest like the birds
on the phone wires, chatting like barristers
at the end of the day. Myself the useless
Ambassador from the third floor. I was the last one
up so the door was left open. I can still see it gaping
from two stories down. Sometimes music played.
Sometimes I’d smell supper. Neighbors stopped
to say hello. Achingly beautiful how the sky
looked as I stood after they left. Nicer somehow
in the middle. All the trees tucking blackbirds
into their darkness. It really did take this long.