by Lee Deininger

ain’t got shit on you   I know because I have friends there   

they say  every angel is a cherub chubby baby    and man   

I was a lumpy-headed     fluffy up top     Michelin-bottomed

ugly ass baby. But Heaven is theirs. When I try to get a word in they burst

out with feathers    & I can’t get a word through the flutter    can’t see

a thing through their dusty white wings.

When I woke up and saw white this morning I thought it was Heaven because it doesn’t

snow in April. The shitty commute that follows reminded me of how good the spring is

after you decided to put away your winter boots early.

Heaven so clean you don’t even have to wipe.

Heaven so clean you won’t even know the whole show is run by babies

Heaven so clean you won’t even know what dirt or death tastes like.

When I write about Greif without using the word Grief I talk about a woman

growing stones in her belly    the fruit of her love     ripens       slow

like pearls   slow   because what is Grief without holding someone’s dirt

like it isn’t absence     what would the snakes in the garden have to eat

if she didn’t Greif?

Heaven so clean you won’t even smell the coal under the floorboards

or sisters crackling   wonderful with Grief.  

I know Heaven is clean because that stubborn bum in Florida never said

sorry in the end    & they didn’t let him in.  Ask me about his backbone   he

never knew a man worth being sorry to  never asked for forgiveness

when the cops dropped him on his back   street sleeping

on concrete          like a rack of nails  

brought him to a hospital   removed a whole vertebra   

claw hammer smooth   sent him on his way like a baby with a sore tooth. 

Rob never felt the toes on his left foot again   but he still calls for money

and I know the voice because he’s always been my uncle.

Heaven so clean   even when the kids piss themselves laughing   

because they know someone’s always gonna foot the bill.

Heaven ain’t got shit on you because even my lumpy baby head knows

the world molds craters into my doughy brain & pockets of dark

into the smooth   & light gets that much more vivid.

I can lay with my face in the rug   a heap of garbage ripening under

the sink with the sun   on the back of my head and it feels   

like Heaven.

Lee is almost a master of microbiology. He knows some ants feed fungi, and those fungi feed their ants. He’s adding poetry to the mix to see if it’s all somehow connected. 

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