So You Know Who You Are
Never a moment of still air. Memories
a rib-crack and a hard hard way to breathe.
In the living room a dream like an infection
hid beneath the couch covers. I kept my eyes closed
tight. What happens when a past looms against endless sky
spilling cyclones and debris. Whimpers, strings
of saliva, the space between his teeth, her doggy
long tongue. I kept my eyes closed. Displaced wind,
outside squeezing through the crack beneath
a door. What happens when history gasps.
Makes the journey round to begin at the end.
To continue. Forever. Your please no. I kept my eyes.
Why did they turn on every light in the ranch house
like it was the princess ball—call it a celebration.
I kept my. What happens when the hands stay
always hidden in the dark. Where something lurks
ready to remind. Where I kept. What happens.
Turn off the lamps, the tv. Let the phone ring.
Where what happens. I.
Michael Milligan has worked as a construction laborer, migrant fruit and grape picker, homestead farmer and graphic arts production manager. He is a survivor. He took his MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College, co-founded of Poetry Oasis Worcester and was privileged to be an editor with Diner. His poetry book reviews, fiction and poems have appeared in Agni, Diner, The New Orleans Review, The Valparaiso Review, Chaffin Journal, Blue Earth Review, Illuminations and others.