My son is six and losing teeth. I try to sing
him to sleep at night, as he’s afraid
of coming apart from his mouth out
and the gravel in my throat makes the song
sound of what we buried under the shed
and I tell him bones sing, too, arrange
themselves into knots underneath
the sheets. Ghostdance, I hum to him, eat
your fists tucked under the pillow
if your mouth hurts.
Yesterday I turned fevered and rattled
that hum while he pressed his hands
where my eyes should be. He does this
every time before I leave him. Today I left him
in the haunted west. How else can I explain
what it’s like to lose a child? Fatherhood?
I walk backwards under an impossible sky?
Every sky was a weight? Save you from it
throwing itself down onto your body?
Thieves? Burning? Hush.
He told me the other day that the future
is blank And white. I asked him
where he heard this from. He opened
his mouth, pulled crayons out in a bag,
drew a picture of him which was square,
filled it in black and black and black, said,
you aren’t here.