Sunday Service: Joe Aguilar Poems
The Tiny Crown of Life
I lay in bed without makeup.
I lay my cheek on bible leather.
TV shows are waking life.
Commercials are dreams.
I steal Mom’s necklace.
We trip on down the road.
Hands on Dad.
I suffer the tiny crown of life.
I suffer my ponytail.
A locket keeps a small gas star.
Light moves all over my Jordans.
By the sea we all hug.
By the sea a hand sifts through mine.
Jellyfish boil in the spume.
My hair whips out.
We saw away my ponytail.
How our temple brightens these young hills. We of Saxon strain. We of the Lord. We learn of heathens only when gunfire clatters the house. Out our window homes are burning in the snow. Our neighbor runs into the woods grabbing his organs in. The snow is loud with fire. They are so many strong even our dogs do not rise up. Still I wait on the Lord’s will in the kitchen with my child and my knife. Still the heathens shoot through the glass through my arm. I get dark with hate and pain. They come to us. They walk us gory through the rocks and ice. They walk most of us dead. They leave us in drifts where we drop. Still the angels feel thick around us in the half-light. My child fouls herself astride the pinto. She growls at me. The smell of us. Still I trust the Lord might set His hand to heal my wound. What they call their village but a strew of twigs. What they call their homes but errata. The swollen hole in me that leaches white. They guard us in a muddy hut. Still our nights and days full of the peace of the Lord. Overnight my child expires in the filth without a noise. Still the Lord says not to weep but keep an eye to His relief. Still the Lord says justice is mine. The pale horse. They wrap my bluing arm in oaken leaves. They grouse around their fire. They smoke a weed. I watch the hills for English steeds. I want their heads to break. I want the snow to dark. I want the Lord.
Joe Aguilar lives in Missouri. His work is in Puerto del Sol, LIT, Caketrain and elsewhere.