'Patch 2' by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
Patch 2, Jim Davis-Rosenthal, 1999.

 

 

Masons
by Bruce Jacobs

 

Smug owners of
every parking space on my street after 7
they emerge from cars wielding dark suits,
tote black briefcases into the stone-toothed temple.
Their posture bears no hint of infanticide,
but their wing-tipped scuffle recalls
fraternity brother Dobson, who, my father said,
terrorized our living room with His Goddamned Opinions.
It was all the same to me
from the shadows at the top of the stairs:
warm mutterings of scholarships and cotillions
wafting like cigar smoke
from the assembled brethren,
clink of glasses and flatware,
sounds of my mother's pies shrinking
to school-lunch-box size amid laughing clamors
for her hand in marriage.
I would only hear of the carnage
much later, through their bedroom wall,
my father padding barefoot,
invoking the name like that of the Hydra:
"Dobson!"
A word that could grind a man
back to lost flesh, a skinless boy
stripped too early, his own stolen father buried
in these deep and taunting voices.
Another evening with Dobson
Another brotherhood of honking dark cars
Another night with no place to park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text © 1995, 1999 by Bruce Jacobs
"Masons" first appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Volume 1, Number 2. The work appears here by permission of the author.


Original Graphic Image, "Patch 2" © 1999 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal


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