Christmas Eve, 2021 Brownsville TX

My wife in bed by eight, 

Asleep by ten. 

Now fireworks are going off like bombs. 

Earlier she thought it was the wind. 

My thoughts range… 

Move through, 

Sift memory, 

My life

The compost heap of failed attempts 

At living right. 

The righteous cling to hollowed empty forms. 

The young abandon what they’ve never known, 

Believers now  

In this religion  

Of apparent truth, 

The ghost that matter 

Cannot exorcise. 

Apparently, there is no other choice. 

We hear the boom and ascertain a source. 

My heart remembers and my mind recalls

There is no reason to be otherwise. 

She took a scalpel as I held her hand

We cut the reason from our severed brow. 

Youth’s sorrow never may abate 

Until we’ve loved 

And held that infant child

Until we,

Like him, 

Have given up our lives.