In the Absence of Bricks

(for Drew)

I’m leaving like some West Texas Dorothy,
Keeping it between the yellow-sand ditches
And trailing pyrrhuloxia songs like ticker-tape.
The road smells like 112 degrees.
My bottle of water is already hot in my hand
And it will taste like aluminum foil
When I finally steel myself to take a drink,
The sun bouncing shrieking stars off the crackling plastic.

But I’m no Dorothy, even if I am going home.
I’m wearing driving moccasins,
My dog won’t fit in a Volkswagen,
Let alone in a bike basket,
And my lion is an orange boy
Sprawled across the passenger seat.
I’ll probably lose my keys in the motel room tonight,
And cuss myself blue for not flying.

No sense in fashing yourself over it, sweetness.
You’re the burred voice of reason
Laughing in the left half of my brain.
The thought of your breath in my ear
Makes me shiver, 112 in the shade and all.
Dorothy can have her pretty red pumps.
The Wizard was an asshole anyway,
And your Petal can find her own way home.

When I get there I know you’ll trace the shape
Of the pendant nestled between my breasts,
And smile, and kiss me, and we’ll make giggling, tumbling love
In the sweaty part of the afternoon.
Later the thunder will come to break the heat,
And the first rain I’ve seen in four months
Will hiss at us to behave ourselves
As sugar gliders swoop like monkeys around our bed.


June made herself heard.


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