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Stairs and Bells

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Stairs of drama.
This I remember-
Four polyester steps,
Stacked like exhausted legos.
Sly staircase,
A high school trapdoor, or rabbit hole,
From stage wing to pedestrian.

On my lips, the bells jangled.

Eggshells scattered across the audience.
This I remember-
Like rice at a wedding,
Broken birds chirping
As my sister seals her mouth.
An envelope, its news
Pouring through the cracks
In her bubbly face,
Her grimacing eyes,
Her California freckles,
And youthful wrinkles.

Between my teeth, the bells clapped.

A crowd of people.
This I remember-
Smacking their hands in unison,
Petrifying cinema breaking boundaries.
My sister locks her four limbs
Around my torso, mama bears clamoring.
We run to the white rooms,
My mom dripping dark gasoline
From her eggplant minivan mouth.

Through my esophagus, the bells whistled.

Stairs of salt.
This I remember-
Majestic spirals
Circling to the sea,
Outlined by cursive swirls
Of jade shrubbery.
An eyeball dome popping
From an ocean of urbanism
Like a frail, beautiful pimple.

Under my cheek, the bells popped.

Muffled phrases, their meaning indistinct.
This I remember-
By the thunderous lullaby of waves
And the whisper of wild surf.
Why staircases?
Must they always collide
With adventure?

On my shins, the bells spit.

Stairs of home.
This I remember-
A heavenly descent,
A tumble of worn steps.
From churches that crumble
Like dusty bones
In a humiliated archaeologist’s palms
To 21st century fairy tale.

Beneath my arteries, the bells fell in love.

The bells chant.
This I know.
Humming linked to heartbeat
Pounding in the mammal skull,
The brainstem
Memories of memories of memories.
Bells to breakfast, bells to lunch.
Bells to weddings, bells to death.
Bells for celebration: a twirling feast.
Bells for entertainment: jousting knights

Up the staircase, around the right corner
Taste prideful bell’s metallic thunder.

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