There are few opening lines more pretentious than
‘I have a hot tub’—maybe ‘I don’t own a TV’ or
‘I read The Economist’—but it’s true and anyway
it’s for my wife’s fibromyalgia and it was on sale
and there’s no other way to explain the leaves that
become trapped and float unnoticed to the surface
sink beneath the jets lost in the flotsom to wind
between our toes and lay at the bottom of this
chemical bath dying as we relax color fading like
an astronaut without oxygen who can’t keep her
eyes open as the warnings flash 15 10 5 3 percent
red through her eyelids but she’s long since succumbed
to an isolated slumber and slipped down to death to
wind between God’s toes, a leaf in the filter but
he still knows her name.
It’s power, of a kind, to draw
ACCIDENT EXIT 93 EXPECT DELAYS
of zombied motorists with a
FLOODING HWY 2 ALT RTE CR KK
to warn of jackknives, pileups, sinkholes,
(perhaps) transdimentional hordes
COFFEE ON CAR ROOF FULL DARK ROAST HELP
on southbound I-85.
As the boundaries of traffic form and
GLORIOUS DETOUR RTE 17 EXIT 12
how bleary and half-dozed must seem
DO NOT IGNORE CHECK ENGN LIGHT ASK UNCLE JACK
the line of urgency at 3:27 AM.
How stippled, how cracked.
DID YOU HEAR THAT
I cradled him, fresh from a morning
surveying his kingdom, into my face;
smelled winter beneath his fur,
flowerbeds behind his collar.
Wondered at those who collect these
haughty envoys, risking the ire
of municipal codes and threadbare
trope of crippling loneliness
to surround themselves with smells of
life, now, beyond their grasp.