517 Readings

Frog Road

The whole world is sopped up by frogs.
Scientists call them nature’s alarm because
they sweat chemicals from the cow pastures.
This frog, lured by headlights, I run it over.
It is dead. I am dead. After that life, what can
I measure? I drive lazily and it begins to rain.

You are not long enough, cloud; you’ve no feet
to fill the charm. Pale cows and bales,
pimple the vistas. This road is severing me.
Tractors block everything as if to tell
me I need to slow down, get to work.

I pass out of the mist and hit another frog.
The harvest is damp and uncertain.
It’s better to make these long drives alone.
If someone come along, that would be hell.
It is useless to complain, the matter compounds.

Rich people will still have bricked driveways
and glorious culverts for rodents to ferment.
But I do not cry over arrow heads
and bread bags and impotent sadness.
Nothing crosses the road.

There’s a hitchhiker named Raccoon,
a green grocer in love with goats.
He lost his family when the bank
took the culvert. One charlatan to another,
I drool at the light of electric doorbells.

I suppose you can tell I’m miserable.
Don’t pity me. I am tortured with leisure;
sucked up by the voices of frogs
off a wet evening. And the mist
and the high-beams raise me above land,

and the green tooth of the digital numbers
flips through the dashboard threatening to go
backwards and make me young and petulant
again. God, I couldn’t bear it. I would
smash my own head in with a magic hammer
and offer up all the seeds that spill out.

Can I appease the road. Can I break her nose
with my thirst. Will she drink up my weary life?
Tractor trailers are splayed like playing cards,
this hand is toppling in to the dark. Angry red
vapors wink below the rise. The frogs elongate
from the road side, I swerve to their full extension.

I dim my lights to oncoming traffic, courteous
another moment. A swath of carnaged frogs
behind; carrion wake. Don’t you love the world?
You might remember this dimly as a dream,
the gifts of spinning, mammoth Time
and her tiny little cousin Distance working
so hard today not to die of indifference.

Posted 11/29/10
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