The Landlord and the Optimist

She tells me, Replenish the woodpile,
should you make a fire
.
It’s August. I don’t see an ax.

It’s August.
The evening unravels in the alleyway
stifling, red-raw, wet wool.

Bugs shift and scream.
The men of this town love loud motorcycles,
and the women of this town love the men,
and all of them are at the bar
a block away.
I hear them.

The women love the men
and I don’t speak much,
my tongue shriveling to a dried apricot.

The men have their women,
and I have a garden,
small and dark.

She says, Let me know
if you need anything
.

With a voice pushing through a dozen tree’s leaves,
I ask where she keeps the snow,
and she only shrugs.

 

 

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