Young? Lusty? Choirless? Terrified of museums, multiple zip codes?
Guilt-free of long stretches without nutrition, certainty,
internal medicine practitioners, a mom’s or a dad’s caretaking,
mobility, sense of self-value, genetic continuity? All of that yes?
You too may commit to move to the middle of nowhere,
follow my increasingly sidestepped path to adjustment:
Befriend the fourth man in overalls holding a handsaw walking your road.
Not the first three guys. You miss those chances unpacking.
He forms words after a month. Is he even a neighbor?
Half a year, he checks on your house (calls it recon)
as you look for quarry work. By the guano, he capsizes
his wet motorboat to dry. The week forecasts storms.
Often he leaves your porch littered with fitted hats
featuring either out of business or out of existence gas
He discusses retailers to avoid in town, the haunted bakery,
why he’s not allowed in any post office or church steeple,
what trails bisect sources of gutter water. He shows you
a bomb blueprint, a bomb shelter blueprint:
asks you by telling you which you enjoy best.
You learn to throw your voice to mimic a hound howl.
Employ that sound instead of replying, or simply shout
they’re both the bomb! to feel your urbane roots again
tickle esophagus like porcupine quills.
as other people avoid you based on the fact they see you
converse with the fourth gentleman.
Who cares about the vice-mayor’s opinion, police chief, every eagle scout,
the chef of the last diner providing the only source of dairy, thoughts
of licensed plumbers, fast roofers, horseshoe-decorated
real estate agency run by a divorced couple
who flogs you until you buy in full? Does anybody
ever appreciate the major selling point, visible moon?
Jeffrey Hecker is the author of Rumble Seat (San Francisco Bay Press, 2011) & the chapbooks Hornbook (Horse Less Press, 2012), Instructions for the Orgy (Sunnyoutside Press, 2013), & Before He Let Them Guide Sleigh (ShirtPocket Press, 2013). Recent work has appeared in Mascara Literary Review, Atticus Review, La Fovea, Zocalo Public Square, LEVELER, Spittoon, decomP, Entropy, & BOAAT. He holds a degree from Old Dominion University. He’s a fourth-generation Hawaiian American and he currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia.