Emily O’Neill’s “sure as you live”



she’s joking
about the dogs
being killed as if
dinner isn’t dead
on the table / scotch
is the only kindness
afforded guests / sorry
I can’t cross my ankles
properly / sorry my tongue
rolled up window shade /
there’s a hook forming
over the front porch / when the tornado
                                    touches down we’re
                                    nowhere near ditch
                                    or basement / our basement
                                    bathroom, still unfinished /
                                    bathtub we joke full
                                    of blood / we joke a ghost
                                    reburied / sorry I won’t launch
                                    any ships / sorry sitting is as hideous
                                    a profession as / what computers are
                                    for / a howl I might imitate
                                    & call my father / he cut off
                                    death’s tail & threw it down
                                    the basement for our dogs / the ones
                                    we weren’t allowed to have / dogs
                                    running down the fence / un-culled