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The Day I Drove to Dubuque (an Hour and Fifteen Minutes One-Way) to Find Out I Had $1.09 Left on a Books-A-Million Gift Card

poetry in real life is January in Iowa,
watching from my second-floor
window as a guy gets out of a Rent-
A-Center truck and then knocks on
my door, a guy who, when I answer,
asks if Spring is home! No, when
will she get here? When can we
repossess her warmth and easy
living? Her chance at rebirth? I
moved here after all kinds of little
deaths and, yes, I’m winking because
of French orgasms and yes, I’m
talking about another love that
fell apart like a back deck made from
soggy, rotting wood. I’ve been
thinking about luck and how mine is
always good, or I’m always able to
make it good. Had I not lost in the
ways I did, I would not have been
home in the middle of the day to
peek into someone else’s story—the
bold Rent-A-Center thief! Spring,
who stole away with our hearts and a
flat-screen TV! And then the blue
ball rolling down the sidewalk alone,
and the woman in the bathroom stall
next to me who asked if I needed
toilet paper before I could say so—
and all of that just today. Let me ask
you this—what if you met The
Quotidian on a dating app, went out
for drinks, and when you hooked up
afterward, gave her extravagant
cunnilingus?! So good she bonked
you on the head so hard that you
were never the same again! I try to
remember to expect such pleasure
and to deliver such bonkings and
that, yes, it is a wild life, after all.

Jan. 6, 2022: A List of Things I Wish I Could Have Shared with Someone

the sound of my cat’s soft wheezing

the pancake I made, accidentally in the shape of a uterus
(it was supposed to be a tree)

the checkout lady at Ulta who wanted my phone number
and who seemed to think I was somehow breaking the rules
when I didn’t give it to her

the rant in the car that followed
(on how people have forgotten they can use their own brains)

how I learned today that when all the world’s land was Pangea
all the world’s water was the Panthalassan Sea

and how, before the Atlantic, there was the Iapetus
one named for the Titan Atlas, then the other for his father

one thing must follow another
children must have parents, even when they’re oceans

isn’t that nice, I might whisper
to the fuzz on your cheek
a sentence to send hot wind through
the microforest blooming in strange shapes there
nanaflora, that, all together, make you smell the way you do

something is always coming
the microbia heath under your eye trembles
not even oceans last forever


feel fine. the days go fast, the weeks slow.
moss velvet concrete block. corduroy (wide
wale). liquid wax. glitter. come inside.
flowers sunshine bad margaritas. I will shine
my light on you. I have spectacular power, to
make you feel good. funk. clouds. wind.

image: David Wright