Construction Literary Magazine

Summer 2019

My Grandmother Tells Me Three Stories at Once

My Grandmother Tells Me Three Stories at Once
Photograph via Flickr by Timothy K Hamilton

the Fire unnames everything:
the closet in the room in the dream-
life where i carve god
bless this home, into the wood

                          we’d throw the ball up
                          against the red slatted roof, shout:
                          ooka-booka! then a name,
                          ooka-booka, eva, just like that

Hungary becomes a starless
field of starless children
won’t let me play anymore

                         ooka-booka, eva
                         he always called my name, he was
                         fourteen

inside a stopless railway car
he holds my hand

                          ooka-booka, eva
                          i knew he liked me

                          i’d always catch the ball

don’t let go, he says

                         ooka-booka, eva
                         he only called my name

i know he likes me
he only holds my hand

                         he was fourteen
                         only
he is always
fourteen

                         ooka-booka, eva

                                                                           the ball burns a hole                                                                            through the sky
                         i knew he liked me
                                                                           the hole becomes an eye

                         open-palmed, i looked up

he is always                                                       an eye that sees
                                                                           nothing
                         i waited and waited
                                                                           and god,
                         he didn’t say
                         my name
                                                                           he hides behind
                                                                           his wall of sky
                         this time

                                                                            the ball does not come back