The Zohar on my shelf. What good
to a Roman Catholic? Some kind of atheist, I
dismember my altar. The last supper I ate
at home with my son across a vintage table,
its carcass discovered in an alley’s sunken doorway
years ago, one leg broken. Imagine wood glue.
Resurrection in a Venice Beach apartment. Now
I kick the legs out from under it, like the dog’s
arthritic bellyflop. It’s in my son’s face.
The morning it was euthanized. The meal
we won’t share here tonight. He laughs
the way kids laugh when they know
what lives four leagues under the sea,
glowing in the dark. Ridiculous, this grief.
Over a table (we play Scrabble. We drink water.
We open Christmas gifts. We read. Play cards. We
color Easter eggs. Blow out candles. We argue
over homework. Write in journals. Wear pajamas.
We mix batter for cinnamon muffins. We) feel
the wood is a tree. It’s not rotten like a human
corpse. Deranged, discarded, replaced
with emptiness. There is so much space
to create. I slide my futon mattress
into its new corner under the window.
Privacy. How strange. I show my son the image,
a hand-carved shoji screen from India,
made of teak. To hide my bed, make room for
guitars and an easel in the living room. Sex
in the dining room. Finally, the oddly situated
ceiling fan is centered over something.
It makes me laugh. More death.