Somewhere In Middle America... (II)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A selection from a series of poems about Middle America.

Submitted: October 30, 2012

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Submitted: October 30, 2012



...there’s bacon sizzling in a black pan greasier than the last
barrel of crude oil on Planet Earth.

Everyone in the house smells it and wants some.
The man behind the bacon: poised over bubbling meat--

a feudal lord watching over his army from atop a hill, waiting
for the perfect moment to flip and cook the other side.

When he does, a drop of searing grease escapes
the pan, landing on the right leg of his gray sweatpants,

seeping through the fibers, the shape of Israel or Yemen
(or someplace over there).

The riot’s kept under control. He’s always had a nose for rebellion.
His own son, the dissenter, never succeeded

in sneaking past him if he’d been smoking. “I smoked for twenty years
God damnit, I know what I smell.” The “g” in God surely not capitalized

in his mind the way words like “Republican” and “Father” were.
“Son” never capitalized since he’d rejected the wisdom of the Great

Rush Limbaugh. Father stares at the ice cubes dissolving, giving the whiskey
a texture less like watery-syrup and more like syrupy-water. He’d been to church

plenty of times. Still preferred whiskey over wine, especially on Sundays.
Thinking about the special relationship the cubes share with the whiskey,

he takes off his glasses in contemplation. He pinches his forehead in the only two places
he noticeably lacked hair and takes a sip with a professional slurp, then instinctively
swirls the glass cupped in his right hand.

Then the swirling glass in the Father’s hand becomes the swirling glass in
the reflection of his deep amber pupils.

The reflection is the Father, reflecting
the image of a glass in his own right hand—the son a melting
ice cube in a sea of warm whiskey,
the searing bacon waiting for the hand of his maker

to flip the pan so he can spit grease at the absurdist notion that

smell = memory.

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