A web of sewer, pipe, and wire connects each house to the others.
In 206 a dog sleeps by the stove where a small gas leak causes him
to have visions; visions that are rooted in nothing but gas.
Next door, a man who has decided to buy a car part by part
excitedly unpacks a wheel and an ashtray.
He arranges them every which way. It’s really beginning to take
Out the garage window he sees a group of ugly children
enter the forest. Their mouths look like coin slots.
A neighbor plays keyboards in a local cover band.
Preparing for an engagement at the high school prom,
they pack their equipment in silence.
Last night they played the Police Academy Ball and all
the officers slow-danced with target range silhouettes.
This year the theme for the prom is the Tetragrammaton.
A yellow Corsair sails through the disco parking lot
and swaying palms presage the lot of young libertines.
Inside the car a young lady wears a corsage of bullet-sized rodents.
Her date, the handsome cornerback, stretches his talons over the
molded steering wheel.
They park and walk into the lush starlit gardens behind the disco
just as the band is striking up.
Their keen eyes and ears twitch. The other couples
look beautiful tonight. They stroll around listening
to the brilliant conversation. The passionate speeches.
Clouds drift across the silverware. There is red larkspur,
blue gum, and ivy. A boy kneels before his date.
And the moon, I forgot to mention the moon.
From Actual Air (Drag City, 2003) by David Berman Copyright © 2003 by David Berman. Used with the permission of Cassie Berman and Drag City.