Terrified by the sight of my own blood

First Visit To My Grandparents

I walk the graves to find my own
Dripping genetic sweat on clippings of grass
Searching for their names, my name
In Pennsylvania. From Austria-Hungary

Past suicide row, the lawn mower calls it, by the scrappy trees
Where he doesn’t go. Finally, I kneel under the pines
Kissing tribute to their granite lives, smooth and burning
In the Slovak town by Hermitage, in Sharon

Where pig blood drained to the Shenango River
Where Dad’s pitch-forked fish bled in the Shenango
Deer grazing under the spent orchard above the Shenango
Cicadas screaming as the highway spoons the Shenango                                    

Numb stone walls, Sharpsville Steel, bricks
Muscarella’s Restaurant, beer and tattooed boys
Lawns of used furniture and tackle shop under the flag
Everyone grown old on the slag heaps by the Shenango

Patagonia, where the Slovaks arrived to steel mills and railroad Co.s
Patagonia, where warped boards are scraped of paint by years  
Patagonia, where unemployed weeds dawdle on the baseball field
Patagonia, where possessions of paycheck days are sold on lawns

With tongues of moss spewing fuck the future
Channeling fathers’ chapped knuckles across lips
Where slate turns to cardboard on sodden sheds
Walking the asphalt with get-by thoughts

I have come as an explorer
But leave having been ripped
From the old world, terrified
By the sight of my own blood

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