3. 13. 2022
G R A C E R O T
B A S E M E N T
M U S E U M
This early quiet is an opus, an ode.
Morning steeps. A cutlass of light splits you
from the world.
You want to want it all. You do, only sometimes
you can’t live inside it. The world
with its clock-tower theatre,
the world with its light-show streets. Sometimes
a grace museum. Sometimes the basement rot.
Sometimes it’s the man with the bread & the birds
in his palm. Or: it’s the welded copper wing.
It’s the boy with a winter
beneath his skin, & the bare-skinned girl
he buries. It’s the honeybee & his holy curse, the dying
he does for the hive. It’s the beak in the flower’s glory.
The stunted fruit dead on the vine.
It’s the scars on your kneecaps & all the hands
clasped. It’s the outstretched arms
of the park bench you perch on
& the people they gatekeep from sleep.
It’s the feast in the grocery store
dumpster. The padlocks sealing it shut.
It’s Stevie Wonder’s Ordinary Pain
anointing the radio
while you scribble your name on the rent check.
It’s the neighborhood kids playing
cops & robbers, their red-ringed mouths
a Kool-Aid fusillade.
It’s the one who wears out
her dollar-store guns & a quarter
-century later makes a pretty penny
for each lead round she reddens
in the mouth of a robber.
It’s the man spooning mashed bananas
between the tender gums of his six-month-old
pocketing his knife
& joining his friends for a Friday night
Proud Boys rally.
Sometimes it’s the room
with the light on
the house on fire.
The blaze is the baptism,
& sometimes the requiem.
Maybe you thaw your fingers. Maybe
you swallow the smoke.
& the birth-red clouds are a sacred question,
or else they’re the war moving in.
stevie redwood is a disabled sino-jewish neuroemergent introvert genderpervert homotrash littledreamer bigmouth freak living & dying on Yelamu Ohlone land / San Francisco, CA. they like shittalk, porchsitting, leaflitter, & riffraff. find them trolling yimbys on twitter @trash_whisperer