You Carry That Junk Everywhere

by James Kelly Quigley

my father wants me to know
he can still blush
beneath all this

pulled over to piss
he finds breath in the soil
and a crown of ribs

today I’ll learn what meat is

and also

birth canal light 

in a convex mirror

the first miscarriage
was a coincidence


my father wants me to know
the drill that took his shoulder

bucked like a Soviet war machine

the ballistics
of a dandelion  

my father is still crunching the numbers 

he wants me to know
the difference

between intimacy and an exchange of fluids

majora skyline rises to meet at a point

we got another dud 


my father wants me to know
I’ve been riding the wake
of a vast

someday my baby teeth
will be poached
for the enamel

someday the radiologist will adjust the dials

I was born and raised there now
I’m born and raised here

in our snow globe

I like to watch the world bending back at me

someday voodoo or vodka
will fasten my little green leash 


my father wants me to know
an ultrasound of the baby you once almost had

is the ultimate icebreaker

lump one day
lump the next

it doesn’t hurt when the skin of a dewdrop hisses past its skeleton 

my father says
you carry that junk everywhere

the unaccountable love or hatred for lace and lamb kebabs

the swarm of wasps on brick wings

the rescue helicopter

James Kelly Quigley is a graduate of New York University whose poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Catfish Creek, Rascal, Minetta Review, West 10th, Open Minds Quarterly, The American Journal of Poetry, and Palaver. He was born and raised in New York.