Chris emerges from beneath the rusty body,
picks a wrench from the ground,
disappears behind the hood. He spends
entire weekends covered in grease,
deep in meditation over the ailing bodies
that litter our front yard.

During the week he drives them across town;
something always breaks—sometimes
he drives just to see how far he can get.
Some nights, I too think I can fix everything

but really this is about the woman
who came up to me and Sol on the street today.
She said we both looked kind and generous.
She said she needed some gas money to get to Phoenix.

If she had just asked me for money
I would have said yes, but instead I put my hand
on her arm, looked into her eyes
and shook my head. Dry waves of heat

stop me in my tracks. There are three seasons here:
in love with the sun; been in the city for months
and finally left; sidewalks submerged like failed levees.

I’d like to tell you the current is strong enough
to carry everything away, but when the police helicopter
shines a light on a car tearing through a back ally or empty lot
clouds of dust rise above the neighborhood in a giant eddy.

I wanted to tell you I am sick of dust. It is inescapable.
I wanted to tell you it is not necessary.
(Burnside Review, volume 1, number 1)