BY J. JEROME CRUZ
There, beyond the pastures
& what Matins were prayed,
a handful of mallards swim
towards the bottom lip
of the lake like mothers'
milk. In the almond fields
rabbits make a matinee
of their coupling. Love,
my brother says, is in the hare.
We pick apples & pears until
the day is capped with the slow
hum of dusk. When the two
of us row our boat home
we hope that, to the water,
the rough turbulence from
our oars is just a flyover state.
To arrive at our estate we hop
over gates & take it slow under
barbed wire. In the distance, not
too far, a bonfire & our mother
smoking by the tire swing. Dad
sings the Beach Boys with unchained
grief. As he runs my brother kicks
up leaves & apple blossoms, but I am
a monster tamed. There are things
I want to say to them, words that are
as mossed to my skin as race. But, I know,
from reading the moon, that it's too
late. Maybe I'll visit tomorrow. All
the papers say there's little risk of rain.
J. Jerome Cruz lives and writes in Homer Glen, Illinois. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, New Delta Review, Cimarron Review, RHINO, and Booth.