Christine Holm

Fuck, Ed, you’ve done it again —

fallen asleep on the floor

at the foot of your bed, no knuckles cut

how I do, but a night enough

roughed up by this heartbroken landscape.

You don’t need the reminder, any

precision is a luxury easy to lose.

From down the hall, I wait

for the trumpet of your sleeping breath

to smooth before I come to check

on your glasses. You rest: light overhead

left on, one bright bulb a courtship

to stoneflies, neither shoe

kicked off completely,

bartender’s apron as blanket with

stack of guest checks paper-clipped

beneath a Never-Gonna-Make-It note

slipped from the pocket,

this study of gins and histories

their garnishes can tell but you can’t

quite yet. Like a good friend,

I take your glasses, prop them on carpet

just beyond arm’s length.

Lazy roommate — the lights, the shoes,

they stay how I found them. While you rest

I thread fragments of seasons spent

in wanting to make a Heartland

from desert that leaves bodies coraled,

bleached, windblown:

I write the next rainstorm beside

a nearly dried up canal. Salt from sweat

patterns around jeans at the knee-creases,

sunshine saturates my pores,

disorients to a point where risk of water

becomes an afterthought to my heels

pressing against the riverbed’s warm mud.

I write the next rainstorm

from the passenger seat of a sedan

in a parking lot behind the bar

behind the Sizzler, shitty whiskey better

as antiseptic for perforations

on my palms formed

when cacti thorns, burrowed in

to break a fall, are plucked, pulled,

pulled out. I write the next rainstorm

with the crunch of a black blizzard

between my teeth, hum of so cold, so

cold, in my ear, the granules

in my mouth could be ice chips

broken from the block you’d been working

for hours: you had to ring the doorbell,

dexterity needed for a key

and midnight-dark door handle,

that was the luxury.

Boy, you didn’t know you’d been lost

until your name called out over

a PA system at the summer park —

Please come to the announcer’s booth, Ed.

Seems someone is looking for you.

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