i didn’t burn the dinner and the sun went down
just the same, like an egg, like an egg poached in smoke
and i never saw the news. the past, like a foreign city
beckons in a mirror—high hope and bright light—
and i wonder if it is american to feel this way—
like your heart’s in seltzer water
when you think of what you want.
& like someone told a big one
when you think of what you lost.
I like this place.
You can chew gum and wear a baseball cap
your whole life. Even girls.
You can get your heart broken
three times a day, just thinking
hokey things about dates and porch swings,
and ethnic harmony, and maybe a chicken
in every pot, and then see on the news how that
story’s going. Its hard, even now
to live with all this promise. It back-colors
the highway one boyfriend drove me home in—
windows slit open, ‘80s rock pounding
like a battery of icy drugs on our thoughts
a bigness like stadiums
echoing in our chests—
–the cinematic and pure even-ness of our silence
frightening us, even then. as if we knew
we’d been paid for. as if
the good part of every story
always hovers in the offing,
and you drive right through it.