Seth Brady Tucker
He picks scabs, won’t answer questions; he’s still in a cave
in a jungle, swamp water seeping up into the musky leather
of boots, like a wasp sting, the soft tissue under the scab a pudding,
skinned, oozing thin as red Kool-Aid.
? His mother, class valedictorian, then unwed teen,
? then prostitute, then dead. His father, wealthy
son, happy, happy, happy, a whole other family, the balance
of rich & poor scales bent to favor blind pedigrees. Look
for the scaly red tail, the cracked horns under the hairline,
those stupid biblical revelatory numbers.
? Clean as white palms forever building sandcastles,
? the sea-salt spunk of varsity on her skin the closest
his mother comes to payment, genesis, protozoa, the ovum a blink
of pathos & logos, sperm-stupid ethos, fate’s black eye. He was born
across the tracks, his father the great unknown, money the great
unknown, the acid pit of the stomach lining sloughing
? until it feels full, the manna of forgiveness & the rectangle
? of the empty grave, cheaply done, with spades, elliptical,
& he sees himself launching across the void, a red-speckled
creature of misfortune, to take this man down, finally, into the rank misery
of the dark hole, his hands forever squeezing his apology into the pleasantly
fleshy neck, O forgive me, the sound of his begging like please & please & please.