Broken Crow
Why?

it's okay, spread the peanut butter thick.
you're back home. sleep 'til noon
and listen to the shape shifters
in the volvo on your way to borrow
foreign movies from the library.

did they teach you french kiss in new york?
did you learn to shave your face close
with dial soap and a steak knife?
how to slickly wipe a sweaty palm
on your pants thigh
before shaking hands firm
with the shadiest show promoters?

i know it's hard for a single person
to fold queen size bed sheets.
you left your reds hat
in the back seat of mom's volvo.
i know it's hard for a single person
to fold queen size bed sheets.
you left your reds hat
in the back seat of the volvo.

she wanted to have it cast in bronze
to be put on display next to your baby shoes
and first buck on the t.v. in the den.

but i knew you'd be back
to eat a bowl of peanut butter bumpers,
to jerk off to the lingerie ads
in the j.c. penny catalogue.
i knew you'd be back.
i knew you'd come back,
to go back to school
or get a job at the downtown library,
the health food store,
painting apartments for ray ritchie,
or to work at the cigar kiosk
at kenwood mall.

it's cool.
just make sure
you get out of here by december.
go to california. go to hawaii.
cincinnati sucks in the winter,
you know that like the bump
on the back of your neck.
it sucks the leaves from the trees,
and by the time the snow is melting,
they always find four or five
bodies hanging by belts
from the train trestles,
or in empty parking lots
slit wrists, turning what's left
of the snow into cherry slushy.

i know,
all beautiful places
are prone to natural disaster.
but being swallowed
by the earth in manilla
beats a slow death
in the midwest.

last night i practiced holding my breath.
my record is two minutes thirteen seconds.
but that was in the swimming pool last summer.
it's easier in water.
just do the dead-man's-float.
let your limbs drift.
don't count in your head.
ignore your pumping blood.
focus on the quiet.