Reading on the Porch Swing, Toes Pushing Chains
Two faded pillows under my head smelling of some uncle’s hair oil.
And there is the poison green smell of the walnuts not yet round,
and chicken sounds. Some shiny dirt daubers. A few flies, rounding
lickety-split: not fly-sticking weather to weight them to immovability.
The sloping porch floor, its cement glaze steel-colored and cooling,
my dirty feet with well-water bullseyes–pushing, releasing the chains
the inverted Y, rowing a treadle side to side, all. The book that turns
the tailmost seat on American into a space an airplane might cross
twice a summer lacks a permanent name. It has been a ripped Farm
Living Magazine with jokes too cornpone for The Reader’s Digest;
and it has been The Hobbit, I and Thou, a bodice-not-quite-ripped
romance. But it was savory. Summer brown, oiled, a BLT, thick-layered.
Its smoke and meat bruising out juices still hot from the sun and all but
begging to be swallowed whole. The book no one has read before,
or all the world would be living in it. The book that drips down my chin.
So good that I can sleep, and wait for breakfast before hunting another.