Lullaby for Anyone

Stephanie Ford

Excuse me, lover. I’m busy foretelling
and protesting your end. Whether I hunt,
gather, barter, or sell, what I worry over

is the order: live oaks, shorelines,
wide-eyed and flammable
creature I adore. By day, I admit

no shadow as backup: crow, please keep
your clever forensics. What would I do
with a cardboard guitar, a map of the planets,

and a box of building blocks,
alone? Another bereavement
I haven’t unlearned: to bury one hope

inside another, and I, having made a home
of limbo (I keep a black hole more spotless
than cozy), once traveled through time

at will, invisible. Now, not so free. My beloved
grows heavier, hardier, heavenward.
Certain grief pre-scorches me.
 

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Literal, Littoral, Littleral

I have enough times been the ampersand,
the hitch between two vehicles
the vehicle itself careening questionably
up the mountain road, which is,
in my opinion, poorly designed, a hazard.
It is sometimes called the coast,
the coastal highway, but never
the cliff-side transfer whereby you take
your life in your hands, or more literally
the wheel in your hands, or the hands
beside which you sit, the wheel by which
many subtle gestures ensure
your safe arrival. Anyhow, it seems to me
a very poor choice of transit. However
much we love vehicular independence,
the illusion thereof. Or the glamour
of regency ghouls. That golden age.
Anyhow, the vehicle, she, why not,
that has many times been me,
and hardly splendorous, sinking
dolefully, doefully, dutifully
into the “lake,” rolling graceless over,
eating up the “blurred yellow lines,”
eating pavement, often graciously so.
I have been the pinch of weather
in the phenomenological space
between you lovers, the compartment
in which you exist hand to thigh.
The crowbar in the garden rusting
from strange use, with little ambition,
who would throw such a thing there?
And when I am no longer analogous,
I go. Likely poorer and better off besides.