Sometimes I wonder_____________what

the neighbors________wonder—

do they spin “At Last” on repeat until they fall

asleep? Have husband and wife

_______________________________agreed—or one agrees

and one gives in—to a trial separation? So delirious—she

sleeps inside the dog and he sleeps on the porch—

I would like my jealousy to become our secret.

What adjustments. The air conditioning, the dog—again—who

ate the bagels?______________Please go upstairs. Please

go up the stairs—__________________Upstairs.

The villain the ghost the bad guy hides there

the suspicious noise the baseball bat under

your bed___________but what do you hope

to do with it the….______________Honey, I heard

something downstairs. Go see what it is

This time you really aren’t_____________alone—

And sometimes you then wake in a lakehouse—

buzz of locusts, not traffic, saw blades saw

blades.___________________Vertical call of the loon,

the affect of mourning doves. We all lose

sometime. Burrow—burrow here

_______________________________and dwell.

This is the tin can. This is the root. How

you heard the glass shatter, the crowbar crack

the deadbolt________________the___the__________the had it


____________Thighs as a reward but for their fire.

Liberation is less rout than a meandering coming

to. A tensile spinning out of. Flamed with lush

horror like when a lover pats your head. It’s

not ever not over—

____________________Tomorrow and another

morning. The neighbors roll the trash bin to the curb,

wave, retreat back into their garage—holiness

of routine, of waking early to


love and learn it—and her—again.

Gary McDowell