The Struggle of Giants

paper mache monsters are fighting for my love

in the suburban chicago november late afternoon
dodging, ambling softly about the dried yellow grass
in the backyard of my parents’ house.

the dog is yapping at them. my mom doesn’t
know what’s going on, stands on the deck and stares
and my father reads the paper.
my brothers are both getting high out of sight. i love them.

paper mache monsters are throwing punches

i want to go to sleep but i know i can’t
fall asleep until twelvethirty and even
then i toss and turn i’m a bad sleeper
if there’s light or any sound or my feet are
too cold

i want to go to sleep but how can i with the
crumpling sounds from the backyard, these giants
white and ten feet tall and fat and falling over crushing
each other getting back up they are so fragile
so light and i hear the lightness of their every move
of their breathing through their paper mache tracheas.

my mother approaches me on the deck, where i
in the fading light stand arms crossed and i’m shivering, asks me

to please take the dog in, he’ll aggravate the neighbors, asks me

are they fighting for your love? and i nod and get the dog.
they are almost ecstatic, you can read it on their faces
which are white entirely and blank and devoid of shape.


Caffeine Arts Collective
West Coast Translation Review
Poetry International