I desire to be warm as red paint, spread on dying wood:
Behind my best friend’s house, on a barn, in Ohio, something like 1985,
On a rock road, by an adjoining church parking lot, where I learned to ride my bike.
The dialogues I had back then with God have followed me all of my life.
My father, he held me high over his powerful arms then, and I didn’t mind.
My mother, she tucked me in and read me stories till I dreamed of writing my own.
With ruddy eyes, I’d stare out from the wood of the shed;
I’d stretch my red lips into a smile, watch the trees finally release,
With a touch of regret ingrained, the snow above my head.
Knowing full well the fleetingness of these moments,
And the time spent wishing I could grip longer—
But I don’t waste that time holding my wooden breath.
I’d befriend the rocks that skinned my knees,
Behind my best friend’s house,
In Ohio, as I am spread, like warm, red paint
on the dying wood of a barn,
that had probably been there for decades before I first fell;
Watching all the five-year olds like me, breaking in our knees, bleeding on the white rocks—
Twin wheels spinning lazily in wind shear off timber skin,
Whirling struts sharing in the light-motes off holy glass;
A bike waiting to be pulled up from the ground; a gust emits,
like that of unseen hands, ushering the boy along back home.