We’d rung Doc Smith’s doorbell
again and again. We’d laughed and we’d run,
my brothers and I—ring and run,
ring and run. The last time
we rang him, Doc hurtled to the curb,
and with his hairy hooked paw—
(my brothers ran fast, faster than fast),
Doc hefted me skyward. I don’t know
what happened when I fell from the sky—
he caught me, I’m sure. When I woke,
I lay flat-backed, dirt-faced
and panting. What I saw
in the sky, I did not tell then.
I saw Earth pay for my sin,
saw God suck His cheeks in, slurp up
junipers and spruces, blue-green
and green. I saw blackbirds fly
southeast, waxed in a golden-spit gleam.
I saw God huff red clover, May apple,
black oily seeds, canebrake and chamomile,
skullcap and weed. When I woke, grit
paralyzed my windpipe. I saw color
like Chiclets staining Doc’s teeth.
He hovered, a whorl of dark hair
grizzling his wrist bone. He palmed
my gut and fingered my ribs, then slid
to the swollen pink rosebud of nipple
blooming there. What I saw then
in the sky, I did not tell.