Kingdom Animalia

for JSA
April 4, 1947 – May 16, 2011

Kingdom Animalia

by Aracelis Girmay

When I get the call about my brother,
I’m on a stopped train leaving town
& the news packs into me—freight—
though it’s him on the other end
now, saying finefine—

Forfeit my eyes, I want to turn away
from the hair on the floor of his house
& how it got there Monday,
but my one heart falls
like a sad, fat persimmon
dropped by the hand of the Turczyn’s old tree.

I want to sleep. I do not want to sleep. See,
one day, not today, not now, we will be gone
from this earth where we know the gladiolas.
My brother, this noise,
some love [you] I loved
with all my brain, & breath,
will be gone; I’ve been told, today, to consider this
as I ride the long tracks out & dream so good

I see a plant in the window of the house
my brother shares with his love, their shoes. & there
he is, asleep in bed
with this same woman whose long skin
covers all of her bones, in a city called Oakland,
& their dreams hang above them
a little like a chandelier, & their teeth
flash in the night, oh, body.

Oh, body, be held now by whom you love.
Whole years will be spent, underneath these impossible stars,
when dirt’s the only animal who will sleep with you
& touch you with
its mouth.

7 thoughts on “Kingdom Animalia

  1. Happy Birthday my dear Uncle Jeff.
    The other day I rubbed my son’s cheeks and told him that people
    pay thousands of dollars for this treatment in Europe…you are still telling
    your jokes.
    You are still so loved, by so many.
    Love you too Anne.

  2. Jeffy,

    Thinking about you, as I do every day. I was just reviewing all our photographs over the years. Many more from when we were younger. Time went by so fast. I thought we would grow old together as your parents did, and give each other comfort and peaceful times and companionship. Shockingly for me, this wasn’t to be. I still feel you guiding me along as I live each day but I miss your laughter and corny jokes and pranks that made life worthwhile. Still, I am so grateful to have met you and to have spent my life in your embrace.

    Happy birthday love,
    Miss you much.

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