Moments before the dreams began,
I’d hear the moths clink around in the walls
like bits of glass:
I had been there once already to remove
the rats from the crawlspace
and now the rats have wings
and their stories are different—
from scratching to clinking to
sounds dispersing through reeds and falling slow
to stones of onyx and charcoal red
fresh from the tumbler:
how I see it in the thin moment
between wake and sleep.
In 1988, my daughter skinned the family cat.
We sent her to a mental ward where
she watches mercury travel darkness—
like lotus through glass, pulling blood along.
In a letter once, she wrote:
In a glass box there you are on your hands and knees
watching the paint peel back from the walls,
the drawings they hold from a child’s
strangered longhand, all peeling back in flakes
of asbestos and lead based colors.
You like it that way, daddy. The toxicity.
You look through the bare glass, can hear my steps
light and thin and stretched real long.
They come in increments and slow to disembody—
sounds of fire ants charged with cocaine.
And there I am, a flamenco dancer dancing in fog.
I creep with narrow strides. Fog the glass
with my breath and my finger passes right through.
But daddy, you must know, when I get out,
I will siphon you—
pulling a collapsed silk web from water.
Jacob Luplow grew up in Seattle, Washington. He is a current student at Cornell College, a writer and photographer, and he is currently working on a collection of poems titled “Like Lotus Through Glass” and a body of art titled “Di-Methyl Tryptamine.” His art has been featured in Subliminal Interiors.