By Susan Briante
Green tree in the yard and a dog
so skinny he fits through
the fence rails, tulips and the fence
that splits the tree.
Little white birds of this season
of circulars, children
walk home from school where they sit
in another language. And the hands they hold
smell of bleach. Spring is a chorus
in the helicopter's throat, the back
yard's muddy lyric; April is long division.
You'll find neighborhoods so poor
economists can't figure out an equation
for how a mother feeds her children.
Wage puzzle, they call it. Hello, season
of WIC, SSIs, AFDCs. So sweet
these chairs on porches. Drink a whole glass
of tap water, consider the spool
of cassette tape dangling from a branch.
Watch the small yellow school bus, inside a child
rides strapped in a wheel chair, everyone
else in their pick-up trucks and SUVs.
Keep them moving, please. Barefoot sister on the porch
holding black leather belt
-- you can make up whatever story you want.
I've got my stockings in my purse, bird in the gutter, butterfly
on the stoop. No -- that's a moth. Anyway, she looked fine
to me. There are other economies
in Denver. At a sex club on S. Broadway,
women pay a $20 cover, but couples pay upwards of $50, and a single man
might pay $100 or more depending on the night. Most of the time
we think of the body as fixed
in value -- I've been 5'4" for years now. Most of the time
we don't think of the body
and the soul satellites. Across the street
a Labrador sits in an open doorway,
the oak tree still clutches its autumn leaves
while its crown blossoms green.
It's not like any of us.
Susan Briante is the author of "Pioneers in the Study of Motion" (Ahsahta Press, 2007) and "Utopia Minus" (Ahsahta Press, 2011). She teaches at the University of Texas-Dallas.