Aubade After the Derecho

Michael Marberry

— When you leave for work, you slow-growl and grimace. You tug

          at my beard like an angry harvester. You are a teacher of children

and loathe my morning boner. When you say you love me, I say,

          Be careful: an anti-poet. The A/C sputters its scorn in the corner

like a phlegmatic uncle. (We are unmarried and swimming in sin.)

          Outside, the fallen sycamore limbs lie prostrate like lost remnants

of leprous Nephilim. Ballad of bric-a-brac: cars skirt and dodge

          glass shards, green shutters, shingles scattered on the hot blacktop.

A chainsaw chorus sings its hegemony: such a congress of frogs!

          By the pool, girls rub and bronze each other’s bodies, their hands

like lithe charcutiers, as swarthy boys breach the chlorinated water

          with corkscrews and cannonballs, with their Bud Light abandon.

(They are such satyrical animals. They are constantly cornholing!)

          And, at last, the last raccoon scuttles home from its nightly smut

and garbage; and, at last, the fucking daybirds chirp loquaciously.

          I know there’s something in me wants to war, wants hate, wants

havoc, like an island of violent antonyms. The past repudiates me

          perfectly: my guff, my lack of good parts. (I gave you no children.)

This was the year 2012. This was the year we lived in mid-Ohio,

          where the days pressed like endless ampersands of & and & and & ...

O, repugnant morning! O, reader! Let me keep nothing from you.

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