Last Rites
Featured Work:
                                                                 Solemn Regret 
                                                                 Transgressions fill my head
                                                                 A measure of success
                                                                 Is how well to forget
                                                                 And the past is dead.
                                                                                                 -Bad Religion
Lungs fill with the stench of Texas mud,
A tube gate shrills on 
rusty hinges.
The house appears vacant.
The mesquite was bare of leaves and
branches fell dead to the ground.
Trees that fell were hollowed out,
covered by a blanket of grass.
On the porch,
the eyes of the cat
follow a snake in the grass
with a faint hiss.
Toward the back of the house.
He is there.
My five-year-old self.
I watch as a cactus wraps from his ankles
up his legs
around his stomach 
curving by his neck
pinned on the back of his head.
He is staring back at my 35-year-old self.
The boy tells me, 
My memories are tired of being memories.
They are exhausted.

The boy’s body is swarmed with ants
filing out of his ears and nose,
maggots slithering down his shirt sleeve.
Roaches, pill bugs and millipedes crawl over his shoes 
& up his pants.
I tell the boy,
I can’t stay anymore.
His eyes blink fast 
to stop tears.
This is the way we cope.
Walking back to the car,
the evening is humid.
I look at shadows of dead trees
and the silhouette of a farmhouse
holding back its breath.
Our final breath.
A memory flat-lines.