a literary review
Don’t Go Out
I’d woken up happy, not reasonably happy but deliriously so, nationally so, happy as if I’d
walked into a diner at the end of a long road, with ruffled red/white calico curtains and lightly
squeaking neon, nodding to a few grizzled regulars, brave face toward the mirror hung over long
wooden bar, nicked with prayers in the form of lottery combinations, behind the scenes some
dude cooking for the love of God, stirring, patting, not rushed, but measured as a salt lick and the
bartender just so beautiful and not at all inclined to deny you anything, as I slow stroll over to the
jukebox sitting right there, yea high, at the level of the heart of a child, in boots of well-tooled
leather and a booty looking fine as a dream everyone dreams at the same time, and I have no idea
how I ended up in this grocery with greeters who slap a big target on your back, overhead public
address screaming can someone clean up the soul dancing in aisle two, they are a hazard.
Between the pueblo and the faux-eblo
the forest of spectacular mesa flies alongside
the route marked by my dust.
The odd spindly red chimney,
beggared for a few thousand millennia
ringed with semi-precious fallen leaves
under the abandoned white bride of trees,
yellow like loneliness,
the color of a wolf-eye yearning to be caught.
Here roadside altars await their accident
closed shops are marked open and there is a walking rain
but it is walking away from us all.
I might be one of the dead
except the dead can only startle, not surprise, us
like this deep shawl tossed purple sky
I describe in all the richest swearwords,
ever a pueblo dog that howls with no embarrassment,
willing to tear to pieces for the love of all that stands guard.
Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon and author of INTERSTATE, Dancing Girl Press. Recent work in Ninth Letter, Juked, Unbroken, Forklift, the anthologies Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry and Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems from Dos Gatos Press. Forthcoming residency at the Horned Dorset artist colony in New York state. She’s an editor at Narrative and at the international philosophy journal, Evental Aesthetics.