Summer Wine

Grandma made medicines from the flowers
They were not medicines that was wine, my mother said
Bring her in, it’s already dark, Mother would send me outside
I go and play awhile, pretend I’m an airplane circling around her,
Sometimes a car, sometimes rain,
I guide her in,
She could barely walk by the end of the summer of ’97.

My mother did not like how wobbly she had become
Mother saw wild intoxication in aging
She was drunk with summers passing: a shitfaced, wasted dipsomaniac.

Grandma made wine out of flowers.
It’s not wine, it’s medicine, my father would say
No, it’s wine, father
She was always drunk in the afternoons
I remember her as she was then lifting her skirts
To release the fireflies for the evening.
There were evenings because of her.
Because of her, there were cicadas in spring.
Because she loved me more than my brothers,
I grew up strong and loving the summer.


To the firefly who entered my room,
Wonder how it got in
With the Windows
Barred shut since July,
And no holes in the walls

I would have helped it escape
But I’m almost half in sleep
It would break me
To desert my bed now
Even for a moment,
I cannot escape

I am sure I’ll find it dead
in the morning
Pressed between the
terminus of the ceiling fan
And the mosquito net

I trace its movements
In the net above me, but
Look, there are more,
One, two, three, even a
To hell with them
When morning comes
We’ll all wake up dead

(The fan made an alarming sound in the night and it stopped moving.
I fell asleep sometime after that.
Good night Beckett, Beckett, Beckett, and Brecht)

“Good night”
(We wouldn’t know
What you never did)

(1:50 am,
A little tremor of the earth
I’m alive, I’m alive, it says)