Protection Avenue

Robert Lietz

Here was the river view, just east of Gros,
a reimagined threshold/bus-speeds/swampglow,
the sudden lupine/wash below I hadn't noticed,

how many times before, magenta and floating
greens, reviving the wishfulness we'd argued/along
Protection Avenue. A hill pond/history/a man

/questions overload, the nature of family/services,
and the Sasquatch riffs/the sorry arrogance
a heart had played to character, to mismanaged faiths,

the looks of a marriage buckling-- whatever
we'd thought to gain, trading the years-old cargo,
the breathtaking appliance, the love we'd meant

from its first lessons on the porchboards,
preferring the swampglow, the understated cover,
the messianic scrimmaging, light driving

in the odd ways, and local tunes on call,
and the furnace light/right for picking out an object,
as odd as the old stuff seemed, the mind

made up in hungering, remembering the boxes
/signing itself in leaves and processing
mementoes. How did you think the space guys

meant for us to see them? And the creeps
at the pep-fest, doddering, getting away
from light and paying on amusements, teaching

the kids about the old days in the body,
assuming the lifetimes spared/blood spared
/believing the pilots were not drugged,

/given the locusts and competing registries,
and having enough of rain, of the wash
below, the sealed dreamloads/commercial

toddyings, the talk about the children
                   and the good old days.

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