Epimetheus in the Shower
Like a Boss, his t-shirt said
before he gave it away. Gave fur
to squirrels, night vision to foxes. Gave away
everything: the marsh-reeds
drinking water, the radiant soil unbinding
metal from mica. The circular hearts of rabbits
the looking in of peacocks. The names themselves
glossy stones. Leaving us naked, emptyhanded, with only fire
and a machine like a loader
to shave it all down.
I used to shave him down
every week, running the oiled blade
across his turning head. I kept him neat.
His work scattered through the yard, bulbs
pressing up through cardboard boxes. If I had not forced you out here
whose would you be now. Your ex builds a balloon archway
in her yard with holiday colors. A regional skill
like terror, like folding. Kitty litter is what we need now
the school newsletter says, for the children when it isn’t safe.
A few of us mail kitty litter to our senators. A regional movement,
a plate slipping over under. A tongue. I say one more year
you say over or under. We hunted them, my son says,
the Neanderthals are gone
because we hunted them.
Originally published in Moss: Volume Four.