We've been at it all summer, from the Canadian border
to the edge of Mexico, just barely keeping it American
but doing okay just the same, in hotels under overpasses
or rooms next to ice machines, friends' fold-out couches,
in-laws' guest quarters wallpaper and bedspreads festooned
with nautical rigging, tiny life rings and coiled tow ropes
even one night in the car, the plush backseat not plush
enough, the door handle giving me an impromptu
sacro-cranial chiropractic adjustment, the underside
of the front seat strafing the perfect arches of his feet.
And one long glorious night in a cabin tucked in the woods
where our crooning and whooping started the coyotes
singing. But the best was when we got home, our luggage
cuddled in the vestibule really just a hallway
but because we were home it seemed like a vestibule
and we threw off our vestments, which were really
just our clothes but they seemed like garments, like raiment,
like habits because we felt sorely religious, dropping them
one by one on the stairs: white shirts, black bra, blue jeans,
red socks, then stood naked in our own bedroom, our bed
with its drab spread, our pillows that smelled like us:
a little shampoo-y, maybe a little like myrrh, the gooseberry
candle we light sometimes when we're in the mood for mood,
our own music and books and cap off the toothpaste and cat
on the window seat. Our window looks over a parking lot
a dental group and at night we can hear the cars whisper past
the 24-hour Albertson's where the homeless couple
buys their bag of wine before they walk across the street
to sit on the dentist's bench under a tree and swap it
and guzzle it and argue loudly until we all fall asleep.
Facts about the Moon
W. W. Norton & Company
Copyright © 2005 by Dorianne Laux.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.