Friday, June 28, 2019


God, I love dust jackets—
that watery shimmer 
when I flip the book over,
that crackle of actuality
when I pry open the cover,
the arising in the mind
of undiscovered adjectives
like disaster-retardant 
and recent-history-proof.

Sometimes I wish I could
have an extra wrap too;
and that people I knew—
mom, dad, old girlfriends, and
math teachers; the taxi drivers
and waitresses whom, over
the years, I've been nice to—
could condense why I matter
and write it across my back.

Not forever, of course, but
for the foreseeable future—
I could weather abuse with
a little extra good humor,
ooze the self-confidence
of Fonzie in leather, finally
find myself redundantly useful
to someone like you—I'd recline
by your side, a glad initiate

in the first decent
materialistic substitute
for religion: baptized
in matte finish, or anointed
with hi-gloss and beaming
at a picnic reception
by the edge of a river,
in brilliant tandem
with the afternoon sun.