text isles

the family 
can be an island
of needles

of seams
working hard    
against a grammar 
its teeth

can be outerwoven
as if cloth could contain
the language for
—silence of—

a chest full of gold bullion
deep in the basement 
dust sleeping away the years
safe from the taxmen

above it a yard hazarding 
BE SHOT where my mother played
and dogs splashed

an American house bearing immigrant gold
like a cavity or gall
stone—the hard pebble of accumulation

ironed, dried—

here the lint and hear the fabric flat
tend the starch collaring us
into our papers and out of our debts

a family may sew a rug for the temple
              a family may store a rifle to protect the gold