Second Generation Air Pump


What domestic image are you scrutinizing
this morning, Carlos Williams?
What line break have you devised
on your carriage, hastening from a measled simp
to the hospice gent who attempted,
more than once, to so rudely slide
into your work through your
breathtaking enjambments?


I am changing the tire this morning
and I too am the alchemy of burnt rubber.
I too have come derailed
and tried to leave a little of me
in someone else’s story.
I too am the physician of my best self,
in love with my health.
I mete out my poems in slivers
and measure emotions in thimbles.
Maybe I’ll say red wheelbarrow
but really, I’ll mean I miss the sun on your back
interspersed by window grills.


I’ll write poems
with too many sentiments
bracketed between alveolar syllables,
so when you read my bilabial words
your lips will form my favorite shape—
inflated bluing tube of a red wheelbarrow
worn from muddy promises
filled with a second-generation air pump.

Art: Portraiture, Vladimir Volygov, Oils, 2021

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