Issue 180, Spring 2007
Across town, the silo siren heralds an encore to panic.
The lake below Mexico City shivers like a Plexiglas dance floor.
A fine time to forget about our appointment with the radioman
who was appropriately hostile with his briefcase blues:
somewhere in California something is on fire.
A smattering of pay phones is known as a “currency” of pay phones.
Currently, this currency has no customer. Stay alert.
Watch your neighbors. Leave us a backgammon board
and your buttons for checkers. Leave us sharks and soapboxes
and sleight of hand, Triffids and tercets and a Teflon pan.
It had been warm, and we spoke in open air on suburban streets
about pleasant things. Peace like that cannot be paid for.
We borrowed it and blink accordingly, indebted and grateful.
Whose racketeer etched warnings on the restroom wall?
How deep the sinkhole that swallowed that Florida town?
The least of your ledgers is neither brittle nor bone nor leafy
browning. That is your farce, your rissom of immaculate manners,
your deception on this scrap heap of dinner plates and dumbwaiters.
Who else to cry out for? Doubt sits in the smolder and song of soil,
where water pipes house the runaways of Temecula, all shivering, all shod
in black nail polish. A telegram trickles through the line
to a general store in Missoula, long abandoned. Given to nature,
the piano grazes in a treeless pasture. Elsewhere, saguaros
stand in rows of infinite surrender. And from within a room
inside this house, a bed shifts and voices rise from beneath.
Voices without a door. Believe us.