Monday, December 15, 2014

Dinner with the Ex



this is not about that it’s about after--
            walking back to my car
past the old brick apartment building
            ten stories high a light
in nearly every goddamn window
and at street level curtains opened
as if the woman wanted someone to see
            her watching television turned
away from the window shoulders
            shaking in sobs or maybe
laughter--nor even about this, though
            it’s the sort of thing that sticks
with a person sucks one in
            through the cheap glass
like a black hole spitting me out
            in pieces little pieces
on the other side a whole other
universe where there are hotplates
and Glamour magazines and cats
apparently and where no one
has heard of the guy who got into his car
            and began to compose on his way
home a poem about a city lit-up
            for Christmas as if a million little
sirens on a million little emergency
            vehicles were flashing now
and on their way so just hang 
            in there ma’am and not to worry 
sir someone will be there soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Hunt


Mostly I remember the cold and my father telling me
to walk as far as the turn in the road to look for animal
tracks—polar bear, white tiger, Tasmanian devil—while
we waited for the sun, the trees gradually taking shape,
and then smudges of orange on other hillsides, me believing
without question in all manner of fantastical creatures,
because hadn’t we just come from an oatmeal breakfast
in our three-bedroom ranch-style home armed
with a .30-06 and a canteen and pockets full of beef jerky,
expressly to kill—licensed to shoot and kill and eat—a large
creature of the woods? What could seem extraordinary
beside that? I mean, this was my father, who worked
on enormous Univac computers five days of the week
and then came home to read the paper and ask us about
our day at school, and now here he was standing in silhouette
on a mountain, rifle resting on one knee, entrusted by the state
with killing one sort of mammal—mule deer, male—but not
the other more ubiquitous and familiar mammals roaming
the woods with their large hats and guns, the man who,
a few hours later, was knifing open the carcass of a four-point
buck whose entrails were soon lying in pine needles, purple
tongue hanging from the side of his mouth like a cartoon
of something or someone who had died, warmth steaming
from his stomach, my own breath hot, my eyes wide.