Fanatical in knowledge, we are always losing.
Today I was fingerprinted, proved in the world.
Immediately the other part dwindled.
I was so empty, birds settled in me.
I walked down 3rd Street to the playground
without my son. A bluegrass band jangled.
He was with his father in his trapeze life—
split-house swing of moving platforms.
Every night I’m in-between here and Mexico
paining through Lowry’s drunk-dense sentences.
The steady liquor of light, his blackouts,
burns back the married affections I cherished.
I mine my alphabet of comics, soil of dirt-sounds.
Chapters with fanciful ghosts I marvel into—
Gin-swooning confusions under Popocatépetl,
gutted with marriage-breakings. I miss my son.
Today, sun-saturated moments are elsewhere,
he in his father’s arms, and I distantly entangled.
“Under the Volcano” from Forest with Castanets © 2019 by Diane Mehta. Appears with the permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.