Cosmonauts Avenue
terra cotta, shoulder wars

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++when the urgent care

doctors ask me what happened++++++++
++++I tell them
I was drowned by home
++++++++++++++++++++orange soda cans, utz crab chips,
++++++++++++++++++++++++capri sun, wild cherry,++++river shells
brown paper bag, penned
++++in my summer name

++++++++++++++++++++++++this is yours,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++she tells me from Baltimore,

between fits of expectoration, I
name these chesapeake convulsions my hosanna

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++it rests,

somewhere between
++++++++glory and sunset

in a cloudy yellow-green summer of my memory
on the shoulders of someone whose face I no longer remember

++++++++++++++++++++++++water, sand, empty cigar box,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++driftwood, dead lighter, glass
I am lifted to the sky

lifted towards the sun, again,

they ask me, what happened
++++++++I tell them that in the end we won,
that we are
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++I ride faceless shoulders from the beach,
I do not tell their owner
++++++++I have swallowed more victory than I could handle
do not tell them that
I have let my lungs fill with potomac and,
++++++++++++++++++++++++sticks to
++++++++sun blackened skin
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++sticks to++++++++++++++++open window,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++wet clothes
++++++++stick to
++++++++++++++++++++bus seat leather
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++sticks to
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++itchy arms

when I am out of ear shot
the doctors warn my mother of dry drowning
of death coming for me in the night

how it lingers, tattoo

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++god placed this lightning behind my ear for a reason,

don’t worry,
++++I tell her,
there was sunlight

how it turned the water this blue-green-gold color
reminded me of church,++++++++of sunday morning,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++found home in watershed.

yellow school busses swim, salmon up asphalt rivers
++past motels that have been vacant since the sister towers fell

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++a house sits at the end of a tree lined driveway,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++cracked paint,         antebellum white

my Mother’s eyes search my sleeping body
++++++++++++watching, for the rise and fall of my chest, praying

that this summer had not taken me from her.

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