holy holy holy
What if everything you leave out is holy? And the rest is cursed? Or, if not cursed,
Like an old house? Like an old house,
when you and your buddies, all eleven and twelve, busted out a back window and, to
your great and
near religious amazement, found
the water still working? And the electricity to turn on? Was it abandoned? Had no one lived there
since you were born? So you went there
on a worn path in the woods, a mile back, behind the trailer park you and all of your un-showered
buddies lived in? And it was summer and you
were out of school? And your buddies would meet there--drinking water, flicking the
each other on the shoulders because
you were still boys? And you hadn’t seen pornography yet? And you didn’t know if your dad
was being ridiculous or just out-of-his-mind
drunk? And you thought it was okay to leave a dog tied up her entire life to a tree
that’s what you’d seen? In a pen pacing
forever? Everything always the totality of what you took in and never let out? In a pen pacing
forever? And you still climbed trees because
it was so fun? And the idea of burning anything down was so new to you, so clear? It seems inevitable
now: your secret place, bringing it down?
All of your buddies who are poor, who dropped out, who died, who will never read any of this
what you’ve written? Or will write? What
happened to them? What’s happening to them? The secret house? At night? A tower of pure orange
crackling? Are we all holy now?
but we say we are sad because we cannot see him
My father asleep under the crawlspace of our old house so we cannot
find him where
we expect him to be. My father wrenching my Cousin Claire’s broke car
smoking a cigarette
in the dark. My father driving a Peterbilt truck around the block pulling
the horn chain
looking very happy. My father hunched over asleep in front of the TV,
a grid of un-played
solitary cards before him. My father waking from the crawlspace as I
throw small rocks
into the opening asking him dad are you okay? My father smoking on
the deck at night
a single porchlight on his face before he turns and looks into the woods.
My father not calling
our house a trailer but calling our trailer the old house on Eagle Drive.
My father playing
cribbage with my Uncle Shaun drinking Bud Light. My father trying to
figure out the camera
on his laptop as I read in the other room. My father shrinking from cancer
as I deliver mail
two hours away. My father passing during an ice storm so I cannot be there
when he goes.
My mother gifting me my father’s laptop a day after the service saying
he would want you
to have it. My father’s three pictures taken on his laptop camera trying
to figure out his
laptop’s camera. My father’s three pictures gazing back on a screen.
men in minnesota
The men seem worried.
They remind me of ropes.
Their arms seem pulled long
by a repetitive motion they
don’t want to talk about.
Lines from a ripping seem
etched in their armpits.
Black marks cloud
the back of their hands
like bad fortunes.
Thin bones push out
purple veins in their faces.
Their jeans are all wrong.
Their plaid shirts make you think
they once fit a fuller body.
They stare out far.
Frozen lakes and green-blue sky
is what we think
they’re thinking of.
But they are really wondering
why we let them go.
All those summers.
To all those fields.
About Casey Fuller
Casey Fuller is an English PhD candidate at the University of North Dakota. His poems have appeared in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence, The Portland Review, ZYZYVVA, and other places.