In the garage thinner smells slice
sharply axle grease and cornered cut dust. 
All the doors lay on bed sheets enameled. 

Paint pools on their edges
swollen over hollow cores.
hinge pins fill a bucket.   

But the underside of the paint
feels our finger smudge hickeys.
Our spackle of abuses
still tattoo the final skin.

And it’s the air I miss.
The horse thick dust the couch coughed up. 
The rat furred silt on top of door jams. 
The dry smoke air. 

Now the walls are soft white
but the air is hard.  Sharp,
tasting like chewed tinfoil. 

Every bit of softness
in these walls took from my hands. 
The skin scales off around my thumbs. 

Every bit of gratitude
I ever asked for sits on bare rafters
moved to the garage where the water heater’s 
insulation peels off like a skinned opossum.


  1. Another one hit out of the park. David Cooke poems rule. What an atmosphere this poem creates. I feel like a hinge pin in his bucket, observing this poem come alive, line by line. Bravo, DAMC, bravo!!

Leave a Reply