Road Construction Ahead

When I think back to the chaos before we left
for Aya’s funeral, I hear my brother’s shouting:
What have you done! What did you do? He’s heaving
his son up by the ankles, shaking, making
him cough up what he’s swallowed: that pill—my aunt’s—
Cardizem, blue, enormous. How kids love—
love—to get into stuff while we are lost
in preparations. I see that shaking, mixed

Throwaway Gesture

Dear, uninteresting, salt-watery tear
lurking, crouching, cringing in the corner of my eye
as if you wanted to die—
too late!
You can’t just evaporate!
You can’t not have been born, so go on, appear

like that intricate cockle-burr
flung from the sweetgum tree,
now resting precariously
like a tiny mine, propped on prickles the light defines,
each snagging nylon shadows in straggling lines

across the pavement.
Such a cache of heaven-sent
discarded cockle-burrs. Well, are they
discarded? Just throwing that out there—is the tree
of the whole pinata’s-worth
disembarrassing itself to the ends of the earth,