| Yusef Komunyakaa
have almost nailed my left thumb to the 2 x 4 brace that holds the
together. This Saturday morning in June, I have sawed 2 x 6s, T-squared
and leveled everything with three bubbles sealed in green glass,
the sweat on my tongue tastes like what I am. I know I'm alone,
leverage to swing the long boards into place, but at times it seems
there are two of us working side by side like old lovers guessing
moves. This hammer is the only thing I own of yours, and it makes
me feel I have
carpentered for years. Even the crooked nails are going in straight.
handsaw glides through grease. The toenailed stubs hold. The deck
risen up around me, and now it's strong enough to support my weight,
not sway with this old, silly, wrong-footed dance I'm about to throw
whole body into. Plumbed from sky to ground, this morning's work
can take nearly any-
thing! With so much uproar and punishment, footwork and euphoria,
almost happy this Saturday. I walk back inside and here you are.
Plain and simple as the sunlight on the
tools outside. Daddy, if you'd come back a week ago, or day before
day, I would have been ready to sit down and have a long talk with
There were things I wanted to say. So many questions I wanted to
now they've been answered with as much salt and truth as we can
from the living.