Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
Subscribe and Save up to 45%
You can prepare for some things. / Others fall on you like / meteors ripping open the sky.
I count out the dog’s pills — one for pain, / one for swelling, five to oil those scraping joints — / a rosary I pray will go on forever. I believe / I am staving off the inevitable.
— from “Devotion”
Because my car is twenty years old / and the gizmo that goes ding ding ding / when you leave the lights on / has been busted for at least a decade, / I’m always contending with a comatose battery.
The one where you blow your head off with the gun, the gun / I searched for, the gun you fired over the phone while you / stayed silent to make me think you’d finally done it.
Most days I stick to the periphery — / produce and eggs and chicken and cheese — / but tonight I am buying peanut butter, / which here is inexplicably placed / with the popcorn and chips.
The red hair and freckles, puffy cheeks / and constant perspiration amplified / his otherness. No one spoke to him. / But why do I see his face so clearly now, / the fear and loneliness in his eyes? / The faces of all the others I’ve forgotten.
The world is more confusing without you in it. If you came back / and asked, What’d I miss? I’m not sure where I’d begin. / I think we might have finally ruined the oceans.
This morning I fell back / into deep snow / and dug myself into a snow angel. / Yeah. I didn’t tell anyone. I mean, / c’mon, right?
It must have been forty years ago, / my brother and sisters, our mom and dad, / gathered around the fat television / before our Saturday supper / to watch my skinny father / make the evening news.
We don’t take each other for granted, because we know we’re old. Sometimes when we’re bird-watching — field guides, binoculars — happy to be looking at egrets or green-winged teal, I think, One of us is going to die first.