Red is a secret in the trees. The train passes through the trees in Alabama. Red earth red earth. The
winterlight consumes the field. The light silvers. The light relieves. The light thrown as dust upon the
field I put my ear in. I crack an egg, and a saxophone that tells on me, yells at me, comes out no yolk. The
train hollers to stop. The train stopped, still loads new passengers, but the conductor won’t let me get off
and kiss you. You know that’s what I haunted to do. The stage is the window circle between us. The
emergency exit door. I keep you in my ear and give you how I’m doing and what I want to eat were I not
on a train. You and your white boots. You tell me what else could come out of an egg — women all the
way down, holding waists. The train is a place going by, strictly passing through. I touch a stranger’s
wrist going back to my seat, the whole train becomes a garment I put on. I touch indiscriminately. I can’t
stay, I tell the dog waving from your convertible. None of the windows open. I held your gaze until I
couldn’t. In the previous scene, I took you to the slip until we were shining tunnels for sound. I took your
sound for my name. Never asked what I called myself.
I am my father riding through
the Thai countryside with a banjo playing itself
in the passenger seat. Strapped in like a baby.
The light fallen so thick it makes a brass bowl
of the valley. The light articulating green
to the day. I want to sing it real, what I saw
with his eyes. Like a river sings
to an ocean, until the river is a cloud.
Sing the song a cloud sings to
a mountain. Sing it true, and liquid the light.
The light fallen. I resonate. I green. I steam ring
and undo my face. I let the new light undo my face:
I become my father’s distance in the temple, the glinting
Buddha head casting gold between the floor and
his frayed shadow. His fallow voice repeats
the mantra leave leave leave, as he passes
glass beads between his fingers. My father
rocks side to side in prayer, I become that groove.
I weep as my father in devotion and anger.
We write the same letter to my mother:
you are you did youyouyouyou.
I become my father as speed on a highway,
the tape deck playing associations
Father is to Fathomed as Phantom is to what?
The answers draw a sentence across the windshield
as crude lines. I’m a banjo driving trying to read
the blueprint my father left. I think it was his voice.