Brent House

The critical joints | I cannot truss | to be stronger than a pierced septum

or twists of paper straps | tight against creases of palms

so I place fingers against the flat of his sternum | press until I know

his bone will bear weight | as I fay my hand into his skin

I feel his blood flow as ink on vellum

he pshaws my hold | runs to a kiosk of glass & points | to cases with portraits | of Marvel | heroes aligned straight as the soldiers they rescue | straight as platelets thwarted in his aorta.

In an outlet mall food court

I ask for time | time with my son

to dig in dirt | tie knots | bait a hook | sit on a dam | gut a fish | swing a bat | throw a dart | solve for y | get stuck deep | read a verse | make a rhyme | sing a hymn | walk the woods | watch for snakes | catch a bug | light a fire | pick a tick | fire a gun | tan a hide | pitch a tent | hunt for arrowheads | skip a rock | find a constellation | shoot marbles | beat a bully | recite

the preamble | tie a tie | map our states | fly paper planes | shuffle cards | play horse | change a tire | shave a face | bleed red blood | pray a prayer

& to call for help.

In lieu | we stand in line for pretzels | he unfolds napkins & lifts | from hand to air | they fall heavy | as hessian cloth of an oscar doll

light as deceptions of titanic | as a cilice I wore | as he shone with jaundice |

his fall from the sky | as earnest & unfeigned as bodily hunger

we cannot sate | I tell him | my son

Take heed | lest your heart be overcharged with surfeit

as you break the twists of bread | of the tricuspid fold

I lay draughts on our table | these twelve men we claim | lay crowns

on the hours of this day.

I drink from the melt of his ice | offer my whole armor of love.

Brent House
Augur of Rest & Pain
In last days
of winter
we will see horsemen
through barren
except for their absence

now spring & shadows appear
in ways of power & before a proposal

a sound of a white creek

& a bridge I croisé—
to fields of a daughter who dances as Salome
as April showers or Bathsheba
as a ream of mane & utter words

& a rush to fell waters
to pith made ouverte as a reed to scroll

we will not swell a basket
with nightfall & fruits
not seen in droughts of mire

& pain borrows an absence
of heat
in sympathy & a slight degree

as a body aches within constraint
& waits—
for a dispensation

to promenade & keep
on point
beyond my limp & lameness

to sauté—
into a future that must
on a stable
as she is brushed & bathed

no longer ingate.
Brent House
Augur of Bloodlines
His heart trembles in fear—

Abraham watches the horizon
the steps—they vanish.

What is the sacrifice of a father’s love?

Perhaps God would say:

Parallels intersect at infinity
or just here I am.

Before infinite resignation—
he sits under a shade

of ash, hears, Take, pray, your son,
your only son.

His morning labors into the split
of timbers: & suppose—

suppose he obeys—
suppose no angel

& a son is nothing
more than a fire of flesh & resin.

The scripture: not knife,
but cleaver—

not sacrifice,
but slaughter.