Tenino, Eli Holley

Jerk in a Road, 36X36, John Brosio


I woke up this morning.

A man crunched up the driveway
in a bleak van to work on the phone line.
The kind a kidnapper or flower deliverer might drive.

I was outside sitting on a stack of cold brick,
reading poems about the horrible kindness of horses.
Implicated, he got out, walked toward me
nervously like beauty crushing grass.

The cat is dying to kill a baby rabbit
that got into the house.
We have to keep catching him when
he sneaks into the house through legs.
It starved to death behind the bookcase.

It rained the night before
(what?), darkening the gravel of the earth.
I had no choice in the matter. Rejoice.

The man asked me
if I was the guy on the phone,
trying to figure out how the lines worked.
Well yes, but “No,” I said, “it wasn’t me.”
I didn’t want to get into the philosophy of the situation,
even if I knew one. “I know nothing,”
and he laughed air out of his mouth like a small finch that went on with its life.
A lily unraveled in the garden.

I think he wanted to ask if I knew where home could be,
but he didn’t, except by breathing oxygen molecules into water.
And I didn’t answer, except by forming
uncanny skin around my ribcage to hold water.

There were days everywhere.


Eli Holley

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