It seeped from a hairline crack,
Chewing with meticulous care
The photos of Father in a green parka
Waving, stepping onto a plane;
A sawdust porpoise souvenir
Leaking dry guts from adipose fins;
Notes from college loves, unopened;
And coin rolls long spent.
Through its pores a breeze sweat
Linty and warm, the smell akin
To the air which blows
From dryer vents on the outsides of
Grade-school corridors in June.
Its movements in dreams detected,
Described in journals somewhere.
Though in sleep we'd suppressed it,
It had found its way, half-articulated,
Through waking's brief slit.
We tried turning and could not. Then,
Taking the last spent nickel down its throat,
It looked at us.
What could we give it
That it had not already taken?
We turned out our pockets--
No use, our screaming.
It opened its mouth, screamed
Everything we'd been wanting to say
All our lives.