- Remedy, and: Safe, and: Weather
Sometimes I stand on the sidewalknear the street sweeper.I think it scrubs what people liketo call personal space.
It feels ok.Ladies with bright lacquered nailsare on tv, excitedabout home remedies: club soda
or toothpaste or lemons, etc. In real lifethat almost never works.In real life, I tried to get the stain out.Then it began to look
like such a person—I could make outtwo eyes, a kind of mouth. You,I would say to it, are hidebound.You are a stubborn bit of the world
on me. And then, Are we friends?On tv, the ladies don’t address this. Never onceis the topic Miraculous Home Remediesfor the Unaccountably Alone. [End Page 151]
The city, of course, never sleeps, though it drowseslike a shark: eyes open, the big part of its brain
turned off. My blue Toyota was shark-likein that I was the little sparked awake part of its brain—turning the wheel, deciding various directions.
I drove and the street appeared, each streetlampproof of a little bit more. The Bank of America gleamed,fortressing in its bulletproof glass. Elsewhere
entirely, it seemed, my arms and legswere working—the intelligent orphans—together.In that sense, one could trust things
would turn out all right when they really oughtnot to. What prayers one saysfor the yolk of oneself. The bank
was admirable—something about vaultswith heavy complicated doors, the shiny barriersto its indomitable bank-heart,
the way the big thing just hunkeredand refused to move, admitting so fewto the important rooms.
A resolution: be more bank-like. But all the lightsturned green. Not luck, just mechanicalushering—toward somewhere,
some other guarded heart,but bigger, more chambered. [End Page 152]
Clouds gather. On tv a prize fighterhas his storm and evening spins mein its darkroom door.
What do you end up doingin the avocation of sleep? I’d likesome kind of break, please. Sudden rain
blooms under the streetlamp, a light-coneof seeds. To be pelted a little,I’d like that, I think. The boxer’s eyes
are a precise kind of shuttered.I make a fist, the end of which resembleshis swollen ear. I like that idea, shut up
like that, to be in a clenched hand,a hug machinewhen you need that wrapped feeling
but still can’t stomachanyone near. [End Page 153]
Rosalie Moffett is the winner of a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Agni, the Believer, Cincinnati Review, Field, Tin House, and other journals as well as the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets. She is a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University. Originally from eastern Washington, she lives in Oakland, California.