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June 27, 2013 | Poetry

from The Midway Iterations

T.A. Noonan

from The Midway Iterations photo



// the realization I could have died just now


Midway, Florida

a census designated place

28º North

81º West

1.4 miles, all land




// that Florida


is my quarter-time home

is water

is the patio swing where I nap

& the sun on bronze elephants

it is gambling for stamps

the dimes in my pockets

for fountains & scratch-offs

it is pretending to be a physicist

& crickets

& weekends alone with Grey Goose

that Florida is my grandfather’s sleeves

sweat-damp in summer gardens

but this Florida

is also a home

I must love

because I keep coming back

because I am still driving

because I trace my descent

along its American underspire




// lives up to my nightmares


here is the palmetto bug

here is the hurricane

here is the proposal

              & the year without sex


here is the death of my ambition

here are the sheets that never warm

the floors that don’t sweep themselves

               & the bosses who will lay me off


here is the Florida of my dreams

the collapse of the white dwarf

reaching Chandrasekhar limit

               & falling to degeneracy



// & I am


an n-body problem

because I interact, am given

Eddington luminosity

by these equations——


one over frequency,

current times distance,

now horsepower

in relation to torque


& I am in this seat

doing the yeoman’s work

of relocating, of settling

for Florida’s budburst protocol


when I’d rather be on my back

in Arkansas or Illinois, Alabama

or the Carolinas——doing work

I chose, not just inherited.



// allergic to bee stings


anaphylactic, where my eyelids

bulge to fat mouths against protection

yet prophylactic is both before protection

& in front of what is cherished——

etymology is cruel to a girl

etymology will be the death of us

etymology, trying to escape the sting

etymology of bees, of being

image: Andromeda Veach