His Son's Death

The dead leave messages on his answering machine.

He imagines he is wandering through a junkyard of prosthesis

and amid the debris he finds the gun.

It seems to him the important thing is to remember if

he had these dreams in the past.

Instead, he remembers his wife's face the day

they fled their home.

They were propped against someone's new Buick

when a neighbor finally took them in,

ashen and trembling in the July heat.

That house was so much like his that

he nearly wept;

he could see his second story window; his son with a shotgun and a

German Shepherd.

The neighbor was understanding but insisted on

calling the police because

someone had to take control of

the situation.

He watched the heat rise off the car tops,

watched the cops march in and take his son out,

his body on a small stretcher, his feet

dangling like a baby's.

In spite of what he was told, he wonders how

his son could have fired through his own head with

a shotgun.

But in the debris of his waking hours he finds no answer;


nothing at all,

nothing but silence.