Saturday, June 08, 2013

for diane, who i will never meet

and you call
not from the other side of the world
but from only two hours down the highway and
i have nothing to offer but transparent

my poems are only poems

my truck is leaking oil

february gets beneath the skin
                                    you see
               gets into the blood, cowardice and
               fear and no safety but the safety of
               digging deeper into our burrows

and there is no point in mourning
these fatally wounded animals that
show up on our doorsteps,
but we do

we weep
and we read about the men making
crystal meth in trailers on the far sides of
anonymous hills and we read about
the cops that they shoot
and i talk to you for a few minutes
in small, uncomfortable sentences, in
single words and brutal silences

i close my eyes against this
winter sunlight and the
smell of gasoline

against my own cracked and
bleeding hands

maybe next time you say
and i agree and we leave it at that
and five years pass and then ten, a decade
of februaries, of murders and suicides,
of the bodies of newborn babies found in
airport toilets and hotel dumpsters

i stay up too late
i yell at my children for minor things and
                                    then apologize and
                          they tell me they love me
we walk down to the river and try to
break the ice with whatever rocks we can
pry from the frozen ground

we drive west to the
museum of uncertain blessings

find the doors all locked when we get there,
the windows boarded over
and we can’t think of anywhere else to go,
but i was talking about you, diane,
and i was talking about us

i was talking about ghosts

about the twin histories of
fear and failure

i was waiting for the phone to ring again
so i could have the simple miserable
joy of not answering it

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