there was everywhere the harrowed wheat—
crude, rough, and muddy. the edema atop my foot,
blood the body re-absorbing over a hard month,
and I could hardly cram inside—my swollen tarsal
bone—into my boot. I hobbled, downtrodden,
downtown to the offices that paid me. I took care
and delicate footfalls, hastening as best I could, in my
needlepoint jacket, goosepimples flecking the neck—
my spirit having long felt eviscerated, carved out with
a mellon baller. I missed bliss and would have it again:
mellocremes and whiskey sour, a full Hunter’s moon at
Equinox, a tendril of thistle outside the municipal building,
Harvest Cheddar SunChips, pink Nikes, three clear meteorites
seen during the Perseids just out of city limits, out in some
serious woods. a hex key, a cowl-neck sweater, yellow onion
and canned pumpkin purée and heavy whipping cream. a chunk
of fluorite made into an obelisk, friendly barn cats, luscious
names of fish bait: nightcrawlers and beemoth and chicken
liver. The family of flowers named Gerbera, buttered rum soap,
vintage Bakelite bracelets, polenta on sandwich bread. I limped
against uneven terrain, shouting no more, no more of me, no more of me
will be taken! My spirit was as lumber—dried, seasoned, sawed into
crude forms I never once wanted for it. I quit the office that paid
me. I held hands with myself, bought a straw basket to lift any solid.
I dispersed, at long last, into the wheat crop—spirited, returned,
the injury scarcely there, behind me, out of earshot.
Note: The city of Bloomington, Indiana was founded in 1818 and was described in its first years as “crude, rough, and muddy.” Citation: “Bloomington Indiana History – State & County History.” History & Heritage, Visit Bloomington, 2018, www.visitbloomington.com/
Beverly Hills, MI
a permanent address for when
I am impermanent. my once-house.
I make house where I am no longer,
unfill the duffel on a twin bed, take
stock of their belongings now: Woolite,
gallon Ziploc bags, orthotics, Tupperware
and pebbled leather, scrunchies, briefcase,
cupboard, gravy boat, nurse scrubs, saltines,
brassy lamps, broom and pan, paisley, wicker.
I am anxious to know what my parents ingest,
intake for existence: Metoprolol, fish oil, aspirin,
Omeprazole, Rosuvastatin for Dad. for Mom:
Magnesium, Pravastatin, Atenolol, fish oil,
cranberry probiotic. she gets kidney stones—
accumulation of calcium and phosphate.
because they are impermanent, I cry out,
lie inside this once-room, whisper for less
pain, clammy under God’s whiskers.
conceal yourself behind large objects.
prepare to improvise weapons. wear safe,
strong shoes. you must be trained and
familiar with the location of fire equipment.
do not climb on the office furniture. keep
yourself in good repair. no loose hair or
employee clothing. no standing water on
floors—avoid corrosion and nonslip surfaces.
keep illumination sufficient for work performed.
retain soft tissue injuries for work performed:
carpal tunnel, tendinitis, terrible posture. I became
revised—my torso warped like a sickle over my
instruments of work. in time, in courage, I set myself
free, asunder with a hole-punch, exited the facility to
yonder oleander, hair unbound, mule slip-ons slipped
off, feeling flexible as latex, reanimated in midair.