it's abut 9pm and I decide I don't want to be alone
there was a car crash earlier that day up west towards Salida--
some Kansas man who was killed by a driver trying to pass
in the right lane, declared deceased on scene, another man
from Monument who was air-lifted to St. Thomas Moore,
no critical injuries.
I tend to ask God for these big signs, signs that I'll recognize. I tell him
that they need to be something I'll notice because you know me, sometimes I can't hear you. Anyway, signs, crashes. A Kansas man died. It's 9pm and I pull on some jeans and leave the house.
I'm supposed to be at a rodeo dancing, but maybe I wasn't supposed to be there after all. I have this white dress in my closet that you can't even see, tucked between everything else because it's so thin, lays flat beneath the aztec smocks and cream cardigans. I take it out and brush it off, thread my fingers through the open lace--
10pm. When I breathe soft enough the stars look like they're hanging on strings, like I could reach up and snap them off,
they'd be no bigger than dew drops on a spider web
so light they'd drift up in the night breeze and
set up in my own natural atmosphere.
What good would it have done me to be there? I only ask
myself to assuage the warm fear i've been feeling since Friday
night, a lingering umbrage I did not think would stay--
I can see the white stitches in my jeans that look
like they're glowing,
smells like rain out here.
I wish I was out at Chaffey
for a quick moment, enveloping
someone else in this chanel perfume
makin' someone else envious of the
way another man got to spin me out--
I'm trying to be all these people at once, an
audience of crowd pleasers piled into one body
It's so quiet, I'm so quiet up on the sideways knoll in
Florence, tired of letting people down easy off the sidewalk
curb and being tossed off the bridge over the state highway myself,
I can't help it, I want to say aloud.
I can't help that I am this way, collected.
calm in hearty hysterics, anxious to tell
you about how I've been fixed,
that warm fear growin' hotter
a coal for every man who suggested
I be less than who I am by pourin' more
into my cup,
I'm trying. I'm trying.
(c) Brooke Otto 2016