grandpa will go to bed with those stories
in his whistling earlobes
stretched, long, squishy.
grandpa will not share the load
no matter how fiercely we beg
he will go to bed and so will the ships
their cracking wooden floorboards.
the ships and the trolleys, the coal
and the wooden crates. really there are three
only three stories he gives us
wrapped delicately, humorously in cheese cloth--
the wooden crates, the cherry tomatoes,
the stutters. the rest are under
grandpa's tongue, the edge peeking out
only when, open-mouthed in his recliner,
head tilted back, he snores.
so grandpa's snores are the farms
of East New York, a violent crash
to the depths of ocean water,
grandpa's snores are churning windmill,
a whole pizza pie across from the office,
manicured lawns, empty lots,
hat factories, angry wooden spoons,
suicidal sons, the pouches under a wife's eyelids,
gun in the dresser drawer, side of the freeway,
nachos with canned mushrooms.
grandpa, grandpa what will you give me?
how much is in your open palm
the softness of aged fingers
and if your hand is empty
but it is still a hand, is it enough?