Bea places each day of her hum­drum life

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

into sep­a­rate card­board boxes, then stores them in her base­ment.

In­side each one are things

like flares from fire­works

or the taste of choco­late, a trace of gun pow­der

or the cack­ling of birds she ne­glected to learn the names of.

She packs in pi­geons’ wings

& car-crashed but­ter­flies, cat­a­logues the mus­taches of oc­ca­sional ex-boyfriends,

& recre­ates the anx­i­ety of every failed midterm of every fam­ily fu­neral

came sooner than ex­pected.

Bea’s in­trin­sic melan­choly trails her like a down­cast shadow,

so she ships the boxes to a stor­age unit sev­eral states over,

but soon they’re ex­po­nen­tial,

a dis­or­dered tee­ter­ing struc­ture

ooz­ing her as­sorted rec­ol­lec­tions: They flow down­hill,

wipe out whole towns, her men­tal ac­cu­mu­la­tion re­quir­ing

en­tire forests to be cut down

for each of her 24-hour cy­cles.

Planes over­whelm the skies de­liv­er­ing her life’s de­tails

to any­one mildly in­ter­ested, but to pla­cate her de­mand for space,

we set sail as refugees,

leave the U.S. at the mercy

of a mind idol­iz­ing it­self as if its boxed prod­uct were di­vin­ity.

Bea meta­mor­phoses into the largest im­port/ex­port busi­ness,

suck­ing in raw ma­te­ri­als

to memo­ri­al­ize her thoughts,

boxes pre­cip­i­tat­ing our ex­o­dus into the sov­er­eign cre­ation

of a mil­lion is­land na­tions, all of us adrift on makeshift rafts

dot­ting the At­lantic & Pa­cific.

Bea’s res­o­lutely un­re­pen­tant,

She’s our cho­sen rep­re­sen­ta­tive, a star­ring role

we’d pre­vi­ously played in uni­son, this de­struc­tion around us

the un­tended con­se­quence

summed up in the im­age

of a con­ti­nent over­run by our pro­ces­sion of use­less pos­ses­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.