This poem was first published in Geist 70 and now in the 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition.
After the beer parlour, we set off for the islands
drinking whiskey from Tupperware cups. We jimmied
the radio for baseball—Expos were up.
I didn’t know what day it was, or the year.
Finally, I thought, a good-sized man, and held the wheel.
Strands of silence floated up between us
like duck shit in the lake water. It happened
right when the days held ’til ten o’clock. Fireflies. June Bugs.
Every few miles we stuck our heads into the slipstream
to whet our eyeballs. Both of us taken
with the lights flickering on the dash. We felt
ghosts hovering over the scab of last year’s abominable fires.
Have you heard so and so’s having a baby? Well no.
Well yes. I hummed my favorite Bo Diddleys,
rattled off some names of local birds. Jays
scooped it finally. When the car stopped
furs of dandelions flew around us
& we hastened like they did
into that broom.