after Michael McGriff
I keep thinking of those deer hip bones
the grey and the lightning bolt between them
I’m sorry for stealing this image, Michael
but it made me want to be beaten in a shed out back
made my head want to be a ram’s skull
two horns protruding out of me
so everyone could see my pain.
What I’m trying to say is
it would be better if I was naked and bruised
if something so bad had happened to me
that I deserved a hug
that I deserved some warm milk from a mammal.
When my lover doesn’t want me
when she rejects touching me,
I miss my father’s jeans
how he would let me rub my dirty hands on the pant leg
the same way my grandfather let me do with his khakis—
the men in my family affectionate.
And here, I married a woman
like my mother
her coldness like deer bones.
Wet wood. Empty shed.