Today's poem is by Beth Marzoni
Dear So & So
If sleepless straight through & down & out & into
these dog daysrushing along either shoulder, turning
strange musicIowa swallowed its own sky
inch by inch, its cornfields laced with haze,
then rapture? Yes, but more like of the deep.
At one hundred feet: calculation errors & wrong
choices; anxiety (common in cold murky waters). Driving west
I believed I could outrace the daythe end of day
& our turning over & back into it, endlessly
endless. So, the only thing I saw rise was water
Memphis gone under, the Missouri threatening too.
In Omaha I watched men pile dirt over train
tracks that would have carried me home
in another life. In another life, he said, I'd put on
a collared shirt on the off-chance I'd be saved. I'd shave.
His voice the rumble keeping me awake. His voice
a river, said Tell me about rivers. Modern levees rise
twenty-five feet above Old Muddy's banks, are
three times as wide at their base, so a mile-long
stretch contains as much as one half-million
cubic yards of earthimpossible. Impossible
across Nebraska I watched the Platte turn ranch-land
lake, turn the whole state sky. A vision, though
it lingered in the rearview & hallucination doesn't
begin until much greater depthsuntil uncontrolled
laughter, terror in some& those fifty meters weigh too
heavy to haul ourselves back out. So memory gives.
We lose our sense of time; our faces begin to change.
Copyright © 2013 Beth Marzoni All rights reserved
from Hayden's Ferry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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