Thursday, August 17, 2017

Worry by Sam Sax


is a woman
burying bread

beneath her lawn.
praying for summer

to make whole loaves
break in their plastic

shells through dirt
like so many hands.

worry is how i thumb
a groove in the stolen

jewel case in my back
pocket at tower

records, the man
puts his hands

on me & i’m cooked,
i’m crooked, red

handed, red thumbed.
had enough money

in my pocket
for music

& who really needs
that bad? all my father’s

overtime stocked
in our pantry.

all my mother’s
edges worried

smooth below
the river of her

boss’s hands.
who am i

who steals music
who sells drugs

because i love
how it sounds.

who sold my own
good mouth

for gold. a man
puts his hands

on me &
i’m his & i’m paid.

in the old country
women buried

what little we had
in the dirt & hoped

it would make more
better on earth.

in this country
all food is unzipped

from its plastic
& passes clean through us.

my grandmother’s
panic is a relic, is bread

unearthed from
some forgotten dust

bowl still dark
& moldy & whole.

why not eat the hand
that feeds you, i think,

why not eat the arm,
the elbow,

the shoulder? why
not eat the whole

damned body alive

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