Issue 226, Fall 2018
People desired things they didn’t know they wanted. Angry voices, heat,
emergencies. That was a summer. Isn’t there anything you can take? she said.
She meant, I’m tired of your suffering. The rustle of the pigeons;
a woman doing laundry, unfurling the white rippling sheet. Thick wind
made a timpani of an empty can bouncing down the street,
until it was silenced beneath the wheel of a bus. We made love,
if you want to call it that, once that month.
I had a dream in which a voice said, Make a mountain
of this work, something that can be climbed. It devolved
into strangeness—owly skies, fiddling hands, small fires
burning against a vastness. The man with the red tin box
I passed each day going to the office: I never caught his eye,
though I tried. Los Angeles, I thought, lost glass.
Talking of the childhood of our love she said,
It made me sad that you would leave the next morning,
it made all the sense in the world,
it just made me sad. Vomit on the street
on graduation day. The color of the stubble banks
on the side of the highway. Driving through a tunnel,