portion of the artwork for Grayson Goga's poetry

Bloodroot
Grayson Goga

sinking into my brother’s daybed,
you teach me how to sob—like ma,
same crow’s feet, purple, fledgling varicose.
we finish another didactic film about death, smiling,
revisited by the mystique of a holy ghost, whispering
across gradients of light ’bout the nuances of floral arranging.

last night, we tossed about for some time.
at last you caught my eye and fingered the radio.
i shot socks off over the edge of the mattress, lighted
a votive—a young man mourning the loss of another rotting fig.
you had grown to sleep years through my gabbing, drooling rivers.
then, i dreamt we were naked and full, trapped in the hot stomach of the dog.

the next day we shoot our own
movie. it is simple and honest—perhaps
boring too, when we share with more muscular
colleagues. this young dancer cares for her mother’s german
dog. they paint each other’s nails and drink hooch near dusk, slowly
(and predictably) slipping into an affair within the pre-war, stone farmhouse.

on the drive to a new park in ambler
we pass a cemetery near the water tower.
you’d like to be cremated but chat on the benefits
of burial, of custom headstones cut for a family of eight, all
sidecars of sod. eventually, you say, they’ll melt through red mud,
they’ll eat byways of varnished oak. they’ll one day birth a bloodroot.

the park is closed and besides it starts
pouring on the car. we pull into the shoulder to listen.
your mimi loved the smell of a heavy storm. your father says
these sentimental thoughts build bridges to heaven’s post office.
thunder permeates the milky road. my father used to tell himself
his dad was bowling with the angels. slick shoes, poaching a turkey.

when i catch the big one, i want you to
hide me away and try to unlearn this sleepy love.
i would like to fall in the silence of fog, like a myth or
a fire, or a dream. to pencil dive into a well of holy water. to
dredge up nothing with my absence save perhaps your fingers
grasping middle age, a fresh, blue baby, a common dandelion, or a bloodroot.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 59 | Spring/Summer 2022