Your eyewear and my eyewear,
Utilitarian and designed,
Are strewn across the bed
With their bare legs entwined.
You are not claw foot. Instead, you are modern, sloped, and as sweet as a bed, but I am
not foolish enough to claim that you embrace me, though you do embrace the water, and
the water takes my shape. Or do I take water’s form? This escape from my wife and kids,
from this whole damn life, is selfish. But I will not be contrite. Your Honor, I’m a
remorseless felon and solitude is my favorite weapon.
We are not drivers
As much as we are survivors
Of a dozen potential wrecks
For each mile that we travel.
To place so much trust in others
Is madness, but here we are,
Sisters and brothers, unsettled,
Distracted by our cells
Brief thoughts about Hell,
And the mad dog sun
Pulling its chain toward our eyes.
We are one swerve from becoming tatter
To tatter, and metal to metal.
This commute is the only religion
Where sin and good
Works can be equally shattered.
Sherman Alexie‘s most recent book is Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories. He is the author of five other collections of poetry; his poems have appeared also in the Nation, Georgia Review, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He won the National Book Award for his YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Mr. Alexie teaches English and creative writing at College of the Holy Cross where he is the Barrett Professor of Creative Writing.