I never thought of them
as mountains only
ochre and livid
cutaways demonstrating
time’s persistent thus

crippled thrust
inclines only dabblers
in geology
suppliers of the gravel
mementos that caused

our progress car sickness
but the cabin of shaggy
timbers hasn’t slid
or slumped
it’s right where

we left it
as sunburned as a barn
I can compartmentalize
the shoddy and the ugly

but should I
attach my hands to the heavy
cooler’s handles and let me move
through the senility shrouded behind
the screened-in porch

post and pillar give its
facade the look of a face
eyes traveling the ramp scudding
down to the swimming hole
there the channels narrow
then dilate according

to specifications that long ago
anticipated our tortured
relationship with bathing
I gladly let the rooms’ musty
darkness swallow me
on the table where we usually

lay our dominoes pairs
of sunglasses see
how long they can hold
majorette handstands
the bathroom mirror
is a model closet

where monkey blood
whispers to Aqua
Velva of antidotes
what do I expect to transcend
by taking myself back here
my endocrines won’t fit

in the bunk bed any longer
the comic books that colored
our daydreams so consummately
thumbed even then
the dreams that walled in
the brotherhood others

concluded bound us
like a speech balloon
a jail more limpid
than Wonder Woman’s cockpit
enclosing the boreal
voltages truant lightning
bugs share

like mesoglea

like a uterus in its neurasthenic
accommodations butterflied stratified
celluloid sheets fumbling over each
other in an immutable
sequence soft
tissues then hard
the unseeable engineering of sex
pickpocketed from a textbook anatomy
not quite quackery but
no less illicit

as brothers in fantasy
and genre we showed each
other how we could adopt one another
because our true parents
were too primordial

we dreamed we might tussle
and make up closer
than sisters

but we woke from that dream
dreamed for us

multiple beings
neither singular
nor singled

not an octopus not precisely
brainless but
its every sucker and grope
a cunning lit up and snuffed
out and in twitching
back to the orifice
masking a beak
lit up again

if we could dream a lighthouse
and anchor it to this
autumnal plateau we would

we’d work our siphon
propelling ourselves so deep
we rise above its perfect reeling