—title from Jeff Mangum

If I don’t fold the laundry, no one will.
It’s enough to make someone burn the house
down. A block over, someone gives
birth. I can’t hear it, but I know it.
The lights blink to yellow and red
every night at the same time, though
some afternoons a storm rushes
through town and sweeps the light
away for a minute or ten. It’s gone
as quick as it appeared, but sleight
of hand needs no explanation. There’s
a spider web in the same place every
morning, and I walk through it
every day like it’s never happened before.
I once saw a man play a saw on stage,
but he slipped and cut his leg. Where
in the world did the blood go? Why
do I say something harmless when
the thought in my head grows
more ominous by the moment? There’s
a parable to be written about this,
and I hammer that thought away
into the deepest corner of time.


Of the life of the world to come,
more has been written than I care
to admit. A boat won’t wreck itself
so easily, contrary to popular
belittlement or believability. Why
or why not? Steering off-course
takes effort and sweat, bad decisions
punctuated by good weather
in a cloak of flat-lining noise
that drowns out all else. What
would I change about what
can’t be? A storm of a question
on the front of the tongue speaks
to the core of the heart and what
it holds, all free of shame and burden.
Nothing’s more true than a tree
split down the middle by rain.