my childhood, as directed by David Lynch



Under the mattress

in the guestroom, I couldn’t find the word

for “enough”. The word for


“born animal”.

The what kind, the what kind.  Police whispering, entering

the kitchen, slipping out my bedroom



The crackle of deer picking through bottles in the backyard.

A room rustling with my party


dresses, the hems

undone, dangling: a roomful of staircases, colored like a dog’s

mouth. The weather pulled from my


brother’s ear,

the rain in a soup bowl, in a tureen. The tea kettle always pacing,

turning.  Without warning, a stove,


a hidden panel

full of lettuce, full of sugar packets.  My boots lined up by the door,

their tongues torn. The drawer full of parts,


full of nail

parings and teeth. “Someone touches a part, they control your heart!”

Someone shouting, someone muffling


a shout.

Singing by the fireplace at breakfast, but not after dusk. All

the frosting tastes of furniture polish, all the curtains


taste like tires,

or the bottom of his foot. Trees bowing until they break, the shards

weeping yellow, sharp as the wrong word


for “electricity”,

for “please,” not, “pleases”. Miniature steam rollers made of metal,

used for discipline. Someone



his footing every night around the half-full pool,

no one startled by the splash.