Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Some Notes After the Fact — Nancy Carol Moody

I thought when everyone died I would

be released, but

it hasn’t turned out that way at all.

Honey is sweet, but it still takes work

to coax it from the comb.

Love is like that, too, though good luck

convincing it back into the jar

when the stickiness finally gets you down

and no tongue can cut the sludge

that’s left there on the spoon.

Look, you get the cookbook off the shelf,

open it to the page with all the stains,

and work your way down the list—pinch

of this, taste of that. If you run short

on one thing or another, just head

for the pantry and figure something out.

What I want to say is this:

Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota—

each one’s just a pastel patch on the map

with a dotted fence drawn around. If someone

came along and jiggled the draft, well,

that was that—a squiggle for a border

where a straight line might have been.

There’s one spot in this country you can stand

and be in four states all at once.

Scorpions from Arizona run up a sock

and into your pants, and as soon as

you’ve got a handle on that, something else

from Utah starts creeping up your other leg.

After all these years, I still keep

a spare pair of underwear in my bag,

save quarters for the Laundromat, slip

a dime inside my shoe just .in case

I need to make some sort of call.

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