Dear Doctor who smokes cherry tobacco,
My dreams of late, of horses just outside,
stomping about like a busted autumn
while I wear a quick stroke of hair
& kill them with a fork in the neck,
my dreams are a kick in the face. It seems my teeth are
barely standing, it seems my mouth isn’t even healing,
& I feel like I’ve known you all my life.
Like you’re a growth on the back of my head.
A pill to be swallowed in the pink of childhood.
Dear Doctor with a cherry pipe, each kind word,
I’d have you in a factory, in a hospital.
In the messy skin of a cooling animal.
In the back of my mouth, by the throat...
It’s this unfortunate, uncut technicolor, it won’t wash out.
& I am not immune to some things. Some
I feel you are famous in my village
& we still await your return.
Dear Doctor with a halo above his head,
I see a gun-gray order to the story, & I am
not immune to architecture. There it is:
in my bones, in the clouds,
in the paisley structures of smoke & milk,
it was even
in the womb,
I remember it, around.
The waves of mother that washed along my shores,
Dear Doctor of wrinkles, Dear Doctor of the soaking bleach,
The factory where we
char the old horses,
I grew up on that same block, once.
The leaves died variously
& so, the flag outside
flew half-mast, & at night was lit by these muscular lights
stumbling into sky—
a bundle of needles
a tumbler of isopropyl
a thimble of tobacco
& I, an instrument withdrawn from a bag
to later be put back in.