The Suburban Garden

by Adam Day


Beside the trim phlox and lamb’s ear -

where the sprinklers are on timer -

living bodies are buried

in the suburban garden. They are anchored

by engine blocks - the thick-fingered clowns.

Their dull heads swim

above the soil like moist bulbs

pulled into sunlight, veins bulging like guy wires

and their empire eyes have the overly intent

gaze of an evangelical. I have taken

their teeth. Their restless cocks

burrow below like root vegetables. Take this one

with the bit of spit at the corner

of his mouth; the scalp struggling grass

under gravel; the nose a flesh field

of sinkholes. When they see me coming

it’s as if they were sailors who, looking

overboard, saw in the waves, tigers’ mouths

gaping, rather than the vaginal blue wash

of the sea. I empathize with them; have myself

tied to the back porch, ears plugged, drenched

by endless buckets of salt water

while we’re teased with the naked ribcage

of a neighbor’s daughter. They are like the beetle

who one day woke to the horror

of a human body. And like the dead

they come to look like nobody, like a man

hiding his genitals between his legs.