Our Last Name
I extended the wells of the W below the signature line
like some pit I knew to make.
My ancestors dug towards hell and water
and if the present indicates anything about the past,
they lined their throats with stones.
They lived by pulling water from the ground
and some died crushed under their work.
A well can become your own grave
if you’re the one digging the well.
Drinking is a weller’s reward
and vice. A history is bottled within us.
If the past indicates anything, our name fits
on that line I signed to drop off letters
for my brother at his recovery center.
I hoped I responded to everything he asked.
I asked everything I could think
besides if he felt that slow closing
of earth, those years of droplets falling
into this stone pit we call
our last name.