before the dark

the antelope’s rib cage, a bridge of  bones at the base of the anthill—
                     you are outside your father’s house that is outside the city that is
outside the country where a bullet dislodges an infant’s bone—the
                         owls are learning about the dunes of night, the terrain is full of
widowed birds searching the bark of trees for holes—boys your age
                                       are somewhere afar, before a river waiting to lick them
of their salt—the throes mothers carry in the place you are from
            are remembered by the number of  boys who fell off their backs before
they named them—before the dark, the sun is setting the sky on
                 fire—pink flames burning the clouds, a bird is crashing, the storm
coming carries the face of the people in your dreams where the
                    antelope elopes with a bullet inside its brain—where your mother
is singing a song the color of wane—the storm is coming & it is
                 bringing the dark with it—dust comes before the road is forgotten
before the green of august ashes into brown in november—the smell
   of rain whets your nose—as you walk inside the house, hope swallows you.