WHAT YOU TAKE WITH YOU
She got out of the car. The future broke over the
mountain range like eggs. Cigarette
Smoke trailed languidly from the poor doll’s mouth.
Sinister, the long reptiles, the black
Birds with money dragging in their beaks. She leaped
off the hood of the Impala in only a pair of
barbwire leggings. The seagulls of my youth, she
said, are dead to me now. This was the new frontier.
Pigeons, and gravestones. We stood, me at her elbow,
__one by one the
guitar strings breaking, awash under tamarack trees.
Saloons sprouted out of the canyons, and the ponds
smelled brushed with gunpowder. I know I’m shrinking.
That’s what I said to myself—Everyone is, she spelled out
__in the sand.
Each vista grew tender, deeper than oceans.
Bright Pink, for Pain. Like a fever that starts in the hand.
Someone dabbed at my lips with a dropper, exhaling. In the sky,
hovering over the taxiing of birds, a plane passed
by, then crystallized, and the silver metal of it
melted, and rang. It echoed off the mountains
until there was nothing left in the world but a window
pulling the moon toward the earth. She was drifting, away, over the creek
__and the bridge, over the sleeping robins . . .
Her eyes were the color of two idling trains, but her breathing
Spiders descended from beams in the ceilings. Choruses began
to bubble up through the floorboards. A gull cried on a cactus. It
__was winter in
Russia; it was snowing in La Porte, Indiana. I remained earthbound.