Lisette, your mother was a country girl.
Your mother never wanted to live
in the city,
but because of your father, she would.
He was a formidable man
in the way bridges are
the most architecturally solid,
calcified things on the western skyline.
Skylines were all he cared about.
It was a shame after she noticed.
The train ran close by,
grey sirens muting the movements
of your mother’s endemic compulsions.
“I didn’t daydream enough,” she said.
This was the last time I saw your mother
and father sleep in the same bed
with any animal frequency.
The banal treated itself kindly to their lives.
They left milk in the refrigerator
when the motor had stopped.
Something curdled, floated to the top.
God had drawn and quartered
the field. That summer,
we found your mother
of walking stairs to stark apartments,
she’d hoped for eternal peace
believing the road to redemption was paved
with persecution. Your father
never stopped moving, afraid
momentum was his only resource left.
Divided among your brothers,
although your sisters got none,
As far as sovereign cities fall,
it was a new kind of marvel.
Your mother flew home
and was spread through her province.
I know your father once said,
“No good deed goes unpunished,”
so you’d like to do better. You can’t
afford sleeping, drinking anymore,
but your mother had also warned us
about the beginning of France
becoming a Christian nation
when the Gothic strike was over.