They don't make maps for what you saw caught
in ink-black feathers left on your Grandad's grave.
There's no rhythm to count the bones in your ribcage.
Put your hand beneath your suit,
touch hums heavy with jigsaw heart beats
between lungfulls of a glassblowers tube
or a living fist of beeswax stolen
from a hive of mangrove harmonizers.
Pull up your shirt,
Mom & Grandma talk unbreakable code
in the front seat of a 78 Chevy; you're only five
& don't know you're not supposed to have
gamma radiation glowing from an open wound
where your heart used to be. A gold slash through
metallic skin, fish scales with a miner's stripe
on the place that warmed up like the wood stove
when he made you breakfast.
Things moved so slow with him,
the day would stand still or time out perfectly,
a clockwork of safety & the smell of new licorice.
Mom whips her head around to the backseat,
Aspen that lined up like fence posts now refuse to pass,
two strands of hair slam together at the wrong end
of a Aztec pyramid. She says, for Godsakes put your shirt down.
You want to tell her, when I go burn me.
You need to be each wracked singularity,
everywhere all at once. You want to say,
pack my ashes in buckshot & paint me into the landscape.

J.R. Pearson played "Jonny B. Goode" in 1st grade with an audience of 15 people. Once, I seen him eat a whole case of Elmer's Glue. He was terrible at finger painting but he's proud of these poems. Read his stuff in A Capella Zoo, Word Riot, Ghoti, Weave and Tipton. What more do you really need? (pearson.poet@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761