As he sat there, Freud-like, scribbling on yellow steno paper, He remembered—or he thought he remembered, maybe he just remembered the stories— when he was two and was locked in the car the faces of giants at every angle trying to set him free his mother screaming silently just outside the glass— fear, confusion, heat— they broke the glass but it didn’t shatter— put your head down cover your face baby— all the pieces stayed together a transparent jigsaw puzzle the man punched it and broke through the air came in cool.
He remembered it for only a second at the sink —I’m cracking up spinning out— metaphors come to the insane there was no logic here —hold my breath, no breathe— all he had to do was the dishes he fell to the floor plate after plate fell hurled their china shards in a spiral across the yellow linoleum red dots across the sunny yellow— he had wanted hard wood, but— Someone had to get in past the panic punch through —insignificant so major— come, cool, inside
She held his head to keep glass from shattering
not knowing it had to break to let in air.
Because it only breaks along the crack
And you may fall in the mire of madness
with only the little dwarf pills to join hand to hand to pull you back
and afterward the shame—
there will always be the shame—
the how can you do this to your family shame
and he must say to the sinking soul lying on the couch beside him,
“you can learn to swim from two types of teachers,
the one who always perfectly split the water
and the one who almost drowned.”