What We Know
There is little certainty, only a desperate guess
as I lie in bed and wonder what they know.
As my speakers rumble through the cracks at night,
the vibrations seep through the water stained walls, rattle
the ceramic tile, bounce inside the pipes, and like mist
float upwards from beneath the floor.
Somewhere my father lies in bed, with the song
of a harvest moon looping through his brain. Yellow
nails scratch against his untrimmed beard, hairs black,
white, and gray like television fuzz blurring his face.
My mother lies down. The last few wisps of a cigarette cloud
dissipate into the air, into the paintings, a Remington statue, and
a saddle on the wall.
Perhaps as she feels the music against her spine, she reaches out
for the remote, lowering the television’s volume to a murmur
as blurred notes rock her in place. She holds her eyes shut,
trying to dream again.
My older brother stands clean, out of the shower,
looking at his reflection. He presses his fingers into the hollow
beneath the shallow cheek bones we share,
plumper than they once were.
He might turn his head at the noise rising through the house,
cranking the window shut to hold it in.
And maybe my younger brother, coming home, scrapes the gate
against the faded black driveway, entering the house holding the handle
gently in his hand, and steps in to see the television glowing.
And maybe, just maybe, as he passes by the basement door
and hears the arpeggio of an orchestra swell up,
he opens the door to let the sound consume the home.