Summer Conversations

by David Blair

The city moves slowly, stands slack-jawed
on porches, performs tough labors
under bandanas—
                                noise of heartbreak,
is that a lawnmower
or a drill? We ate out. We took a nap. We cleaned.
It was all we could do to erase ourselves
without learning
from the sky that is a train
freighted through nighttime intersections,
that is a leaf blower.
Sprinklers suddenly go off,
one from a ceiling,
one from a lawn,
some built into monkey bars.
The rain comes down.
In the porch’s shelter, they get so pale
and make their oversized tee shirts
look so flat, these urban rural teenagers
who are so stupid-looking
with knowledge. They are archetypes.
A possum should nibble their fingers,
but there is no possum.
There is no coyote head
in the tall grass, not yet, just turkey—
reincarnation of their lost old Nana
who lived large, gambled, took busses.
The absolute “ruins conversation,”
you tell me. I agree with that
because absolutes are turkeys.

DAVID BLAIR is the author of three books of poetry, Ascension Days, Friends with Dogs, and Arsonville. He is also the author of Walk Around: Essays on Poetry and Place and a forthcoming poetry collection, Barbarian Seasons, both from MadHat Press.