The crank of your wrist,
the flex-action of your tendons
pries the brakes from my Chevrolet Prizm,
rains rust on your face
and when you punch the tire
to knock it loose
I won’t take it personally.
the house is under power lines,
we’re moon units, you know it. It’s been a while,
but do you remember the basement infested
with chicken bones, the creosote that lived
in the carpet – do you remember how you cut holes
in the walls with a diamond saw, how you called them windows,
how you ran repeats to watch me, to build the nest, to stain the frames,
to help me walk, to sand the floors, to find the toy,
to trace the wire, to feed me pears, to tile the roof, to wash me up,
to stoke the fire, to safety the gun?
I don’t know how far
you think that truck
will take you,
where you think
listen, Larry, you’ll visit,
find it suspicious
how this new dog
looks like the old one,
you’ll think of the handgun,
the cancer, the knock
of the skull,
the kiss on the nose,
the press of the barrel
between the pools of her eyes,
the double trigger pull –
the way she painted the snow.
today, you jog in the mist all shorts,
through the TV screen over
the wicker bridge
crossing Meadowbrook Creek.
A little girl, all t-shirt, snatches
a frog from the railing and
kisses it, right on the spots.
(You? Run right
off the screen,
like ticker tape.)
the frog swoons. Says god. You
good thing, listen,
catch me all you want,
lance the lilies, pinch the flies –
call me a toad. I mean this: I will jump
Sarah drank amber, a playground dare,
helixed a bit, just
a dinosaur by morning.
in the meadow, she mouthed away
the moss, breathed in swaths
of green trying to find the ring she lost or didn’t
years ago or more. She absorbed light
with what thrived in her
teeth, hummed her to sleep all night,
never found a tone
to tuck or keep.
And then one morning, a rhino
with no horn
traced her triple-point snout
with a paw,
and in a moment that toppled
moments, tipped its nose to her –
they watched a pterodactyl dive that night,
all backlit to the sun as it burned itself out.
It broke sonics, but
didn’t have the eyes,
it pegged a rock
it mistaked it for a mouse-
they watched it explode then sprout,
thought it looked like rain.
The wind, the vapor of the lake,
the gray of the sky, the threat of your mouth.
All my heat pumps
through the canyons of my ribs,
You’re saying I should rinse you
from the cracks in my fingers,
the shriek of you
in my story is not the kind of thing
I want my kids to hear someday.
I say no, you aren’t going anywhere,
they don’t make needles like longswords
and you think you’ll dissipate like mist
but you’re more the pebbles on this beach
that’ll never die anyway.
paints our skin, dares
us to stop grinding the ice
under our shoes and boots.
You kick the beach, say, Jesus,
this is sixty sorts of fucked.
I say, I know.
Brandon Hansen is from a village in northern Wisconsin named Long Lake. He can affirm that, indeed, the lake is long. He also writes.