Adolph and the Queen of Spades
The valley was appalling; though
appealing for its isolation, its hilltop
homesteads where the windows bend
and sway in the awkward wind -

where Adolph curls up beside
the Queen of Spades on the couch;

in dreams chasing dark-haired boys
and girls tattooed from queen ship
and glue growing out of their hair
from childhoods spent rearranging
strands of construction paper into
kinetic lines, and shapes -

as girls will
do, tending
the children,

caressing foreheads
of boys laid out under kitchen
tables howling from the sting
of something strange growing inside

waiting it out,
as boys will do.

Though Adolph is a calamity;
the catastrophe of too much
sleep in your eye.

A dog dislocated
from the alleyways,
from the side streets
where you suck your thumb
and skip your stones, shiver
when you place someone else's
coins over your eyes
in that same Gaelic dream-grout,
seeping through your bones
like marrow and blood -

later he will paint portraits
in swollen European cities
where soot and brimstone
are all he knows of unity;

later he will lay in a bathtub
and Geli will stand above him

Later he will be something
other than a dream.