Todd

by Michelle Lewis

Todd asks if you
have an interior
door.  You say
maybe, inventory
has long been lost
track of in this
garbage.  Sun causes
a rare scar of light,
pounds it into the
linoleum.  He says it
happened again, he
busted down the
door to Morgan’s
room.  Someone had
said Fuck you (he was
not clear who) so he
busted the door
frame again.  She’s
running amok at the
same time she’s
flunking, now how
can that be?  Now
he’s looking for a
door.

You say then how
much you dread
Christmas at
Stacy’s.  With
Kenny on leave
from the Army,
how he drinks
whiskey like you
or I water, then
sits in the living
room all day.
Todd knows the
joke even: call
Kenny in the AM
and if he answers,
you know he has
been up all night!
Between step-
kids, Kenny, his
son’s two friends,
two dogs, sister,
her toddler and
daughter, it is too
much for a trailer.
Plus Kenny
always gets so
grabby.  Todd
says the Navy
would never
tolerate it, but the
Army, that’s a
different story.

A chance group of
birds are we,
colluding in flight.
Todd rests in a
chair, knows he’s not
much in this massive
world, ocean vast
either side, country a
flatted quilt, and you
can’t help but like
him for that.  How
could he be — how
could a person — full
as it is with what
trestles up his
daughter like a fever.
Empty glass always
just somebody’s
thirst.  Somehow it
fills, and somehow
the world, like
Kenny, drinks.  Its
constancy the fabric
onto which we’ve
sewn ourselves.

Then you say, look,
the sun’s going
down already!  As if
dark is a daily siege.
Todd says god, it’s
incredible.  But when
it comes, it merely
scuffs its way.