Lungs stuffed with dried paper, Bird and I sit down, begin to eat a meal.
She worries the tablecloth's fringed end. A shadow, like a cigarette flicked from a passing car, hits the window—the only movement of the afternoon.
But the world, rainwater roiled in gasoline, goes forward—
dust in a Buick’s heater vent, harvest moon, hands of exhausted survivors—
Bird & I, vapors of an oil-less engine, sitting at the table, bored
of the world. Silence an oven our heads are closed in. She goes forward
with what she needs to tell me, tongue a spark plug. I’ve heard
it all, kerosene-weary—the world, her words,
scraps, burnt sand, spent matches in the hands of exhausted survivors.
Jesse DeLong's debut manuscript, The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, is forthcoming from Baobab Press. Other work has appeared in Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, American Letters and Commentary, Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Typo, as well as the anthologies Best New Poets 2011 and Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner. His chapbooks, Tearings, and Other Poems and Earthwards, were released by Curly Head Press. He tweets at @jessemdelong