Sunday Service: Matthew Henriksen

I Don’t Get Home Much Anymore

Cancer stink on interstates through Missouri and Illinois
No dreams induce sleep

Home
the word

represents
what’s closer to grass and trees
a mind away from smoke

The home I lived in
all the streets coordinate
paralysis in a shot of strychnine

Now I prefer stoned mountain roads
I live in a box in the mountains, yes
but my parents don’t cry in
their words there

I broke their mouths against my door
I locked myself inside with my daughter and her laughter
the shotgun I hold to my head

My light-crazed head
grins in the trees
shining through the window

I’ve been told to stop talking about light
To think money language
To think military-industrial complex squid children shudders
To drop drones everywhere

But light, friends, enters through the windows without breaking anything
Light makes the trees and light makes my daughter laugh

Not a weapon
my daughter
when the world is made of light

guns and money made of light, too
and everything made of light dissolves in light
salt in salt water
glows a thick light

Mind glows its own solution
Mind not like moon, not reflecting

But origin, a child
laughing when her daddy laughs

one bird laughing after another

I don’t go home
What fire alights has burnt out
What has resolved in its ash foundations hardly holds anything

A house will not stand after emptying

Places away from the disasters
let me breathe out

I open the door and let my daughter
run down sidewalks full of commerce

bio: Matthew Henriksen is the author of Ordinary Sun (Black Ocean, 2011) and a few chapbooks, most recently “Latch Down the Dark Helmet” (Wildlife Poetry, 2013). Recent poems appear in Toad Suck Review, N/A, Apartment, and Yalobusha Review. For Fulcrum #7 he edited “Another Part of the Flood: Poems, Stories, and Correspondence of Frank Stanford.” Since 2003 he has with Adam Clay co-edited Typo, an online poetry journal. He runs The Burning Chair Readings and works at the Dickson Street Bookshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas.