In this weather it’s tough
to make a clean getaway
in stolen bishop’s slippers,
the bridesmaids smashing wine glasses,
trucks not thinking twice
about driving onto the ice
and making a bonfire
out of used Christmas trees.
Scoreboard: noon sun, moon none.
Hoods up and hats on,
fresh track marks in the talk track,
lost walkie-talkies talking in tongues,
come in come in, got your ears on?
Even though we’re mostly eyes.
Even though we shouldn’t be trusted with teeth.
Somewhere far from here there’s a beach
where cormorants chase the shags
and beauty has tricked itself into believing
it’s immune from extinction
in a way that ends each day
in a sunset that doesn’t make you feel
as if you aren’t keeping up,
someone grandfathered you in.
Your dogs of war doze patiently
by the door. Your cats of peace
teach themselves to climb ladders.
Try as we may, it’s clear
we’re going to experience everything
not quite twice.
When you finish skating,
you have to reach down with bare hands
and remove each blade carefully
from the bottoms of your feet.
Copyright © Dobby Gibson
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.