Land of 10,000

Free associate my home
with rehab. Go ahead. Ivy here entwines
a power line, a Jefferson Lines bus
gets towed. I’m on our only light
rail train traveling south. Will make an exit
by air. Wherever I go, I must
rehabilitate or stall out.

Say the Word—Hotel

Hungover without
a drink, journals
are meant to be written— 

not read. Why does she
keep them? Why toss them
out? She could donate them 

to a sculptor
who might rehab their pages
into fiber and matter 

for a piece
of public art. Would the characters
she described, reconstituted, dreamed 

up
back then want
their say in the replacement 

of their sketchy heads,
insubstantial torsos, free
floating feet, even sketchier 

souls. Would they? Would 

the new artist listen,
understand, care?
Doubtful. He would be 

listening to his own
noise—not theirs, not hers.
She always relinquishes 

her power, struggles
with steps to the greater 

powerlessness.
It’s been years since she visited
the bonfire behind the old hotel, 

since she was willing
to sacrifice a hero, or two,
for the sake 

of someone’s sanity. Plain
garden variety walks on
solid ground. She’d be lying 

if she denied
there were any new ones
to release into the communal 

burn. Then again,
they are never
really hers to offer. 

And she’s no hero, so no 

self-sacrifice will
do. She keeps walking 

down this steep hill
humming a tune
she thinks she made up. 

You and I know she didn’t.