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Drawing Water

ISSUE:  Spring 2018

Picture if you will Tony Hoagland
and me, he in his Donkey Gospel
hat and me wearing my Hustle ring,
in his car patched with silver duct
tape and sagging passenger mirrors
discussing vehicles as metaphors 
for systems, as waxen images of 
  while he recklessly 
                 bends corners of potholed 
Houston streets, clutching the 
steering wheel so tightly 
                   as if it were the future 
of American poetry. This is where
it gets complicated and awkward. 
  Not complicated
as in father twists his fanny 
pack as he leans forward to kiss your
forehead complicated, but just slightly
awkward because he says,
          no dawg, you which
really isn’t the uncomfortable
part. It’s that we’ve lost
    between us, mostly weight,
him getting sick and me getting 
   healthy. We have talked about “The
Change.” He has taken one
hand off the wheel 
      to gently tap my knee
and then brush up 
those Van Gogh trees he
calls hair. The labyrinth
is someone’s home. All men are
    part boogie. What
he tells me cannot fit in a poem,
his words no longer light enough 
to lift out my chest.



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