The orange scarecar in Molly’s yard
raised me up,
in the years after her crash,
my childhood years. I touched it everywhere
when I sailed myself and the dream wreck like a boat
over TV oceans.
Molly’s daughter, Rachel,
came to me,
told me many lies,
but I believed her, her royal blood,
and the boys, men, she lead to the ruined car
most nights. I asked her
how the accident happened. Her mom
washed dishes, set beds
at the highway’s Best Western,
where one evening she drunkenly danced with a bellhop,
at an obligational employee do,
alongside a pair of high-ups, blowing cigar smoke
into one another’s mouths.
Rachel says Molly was drunk enough
to let him kiss her hard in a spare, perfect room. Either way,
she drove home lonely.
Rain obscured the stars.
and whether bent to light a cigarette, or worn
enough to close her eyes,
Molly and the road parted ways
outside the Yantic River Inn.
While Rachel spent her crowded nights in the burned back seat
Molly slept unwell, dreaming
her old car alive. It warmed
and growled. Behind the wheel,
and tired enough to close her eyes, they would smash
themselves next door.
Rus in urbe
The river would be blue one day and gold the next
Streets screened with oak, linden, elm
Its wild, narrow, shadowed, almost Alp-like glens
Won from the water or blasted out of the rock
Then war in the South repainted Broad and Main
Sponge-off coughing around the Thames Arms
Its workers bought their own mistakes
Striking, banging every pot in the house
Outside Building One, a twelve hour picnic
Broken-up by the Quebecois, your house tarred
The mill wheel hauling, the scald of sizing
To be washed out later, before the cutting floor
Mill bell at dawn, the five streets light and rise
“Simplex” from the Tobin Arms, a hammerless gun
Occupation for industry, market foodstuffs, comfortable homes
At seven, the bell to work
Dodge Renée, get your hands on a candle
Come midnight, Ponemah cuts power
Poem With A Knife In It
Danny issued me
to bullet the cava &
uphill in Norwich
past Benedict Arnold’s plaque
the way I drove. We
stomped on the ceiling
of Twice bought
empty for evening. The
white bubbles packed
enough to blow
a molar. I practiced
thumbing the side-stud
to snap the torsion bar.
Danny read the roofs: there
was the candy store:
mill shadow gone, there
were the trailers
where we both
hung out with this one kid.
He smacked your mom? Yeah,
at Wequonic School
across the street
in 6th or 5th.
Huge ancient arms
rocked me to sleep
halfway down the dark mass
on B. Here, he says,
bottle raised up,
throw it, I’ll duck.