October 14—The Dow Closes Up 10015

I bleed a little, peyote tea waits in the refrigerator,
a Ferris Wheel rolls and rolls over the highway
after the miscarriage, we search 
for rings with missing stones, unmatched earrings
sell our gold, ride the Ferris Wheel bigger than Paris,
my parents pray for us, I play Dylan's "Spanish Boots"
over and over, the sunroof fills with stars 
like watching a film of strangers I recognize
but don't really know
Schuyler says you can't get at sunset naming colors
between the liars trees and shopping carts
we buy a house, cry in bed, leave 
the child unnamed
pink lemon pearly blue white

More by Susan Briante

Off Lows, Weakness Remains: Meditation #3

In the PartyStore/PierOne/Target/Kohls parking lot
find a desert willow among the shopping carts,

walk around it sunwise repeating:

        I am the avant-garde, I am the avant-garde, I am the avant-garde

repeating:

        DIY, DIY, DIY

Imagine a chart of median family incomes as big as the parking lot—
use it to determine where to abandon your car.

        I default, I default, I default

Your mind is a blood blister rising on your thumb, a ladybug.
Among these shopping carts, you fortress. Among plastic bags you affirm:

Lo! the light from desert trees does not speak in numbers, costs us nothing.
Here, as in a butterfly garden, everyone crawls before flight.

13 Questions for the Next Economy

On the side of the road, white cardboard in the shape of a man,
     	     illegible script. A signpost with scrawl: Will pay cash for 
              diabetes strips.
 
A system under the system with its black box.                    	Disability hearing?
a billboard reads. Trouble with Social Security? Where does the riot begin?
 
Spark of dry grass, Russian thistle in flames, or butterflies bobbing
as if pulled by unseen strings            	  through the alleyway.
        	
My mother’s riot would have been peace. A bicycle wheel
              chained to a concrete planter. What metaphor
 
              can I use to describe the children sleeping in cages in 
                  detention
centers? Birds pushed fenceward by a breeze? A train of brake lights
 
extending? Mesquite pods mill under our feet
on a rainless sidewalk. What revolution            will my daughter feed?
 
A break-the-state twig-quick snap or a long divining       	    as if
for water? A cotton silence? A death?          	      Who will read this
 
in the next economy, the one that comes after the one that kills us?
What lessons will we take from the side of the road? A wooden crucifix,
 
a white bicycle, a pinwheel, a poem
waiting to be redacted:                         Which would you cross out?

Related Poems

Seven Years

These cold days when the insane sky’s clear, heat poofs away be-
yond its net of edible blue. My cat folds, flops across the laundry
steps. Flags the size of jeans pockets flip-flap affixed to rowhouse
fronts. The nicest, cleanest hands reach to switch out lights in
stores: futons, ring trays, eyeglasses, dresses, go dark. “The bed is
not very big.” Cold or no there are fathers calling mothers and child-
dren walking home or out; also those of us who are neither father
nor mother and have forgotten the complicated unchosen knits and
methods of being somebody’s child. Hires Root Beer signboard
creaking, then not creaking. This year Thanksgiving dinner begins
in the afternoon: a moist bird, venison stuffing. Window glass goes
blue-indigo. “Is this the right crockery?” Cold little birds, like knots
of twine, jam the Japanese Zelkova just outside, gabble in the light-loss
hysteria. The Dow Jones dropping. Friends’ kids leer from photos I
stuck on the refrigerator. Last night I slammed a door so hard the
mirror hung on it shattered over my back. I was not hurt; moreover
he stopped shouting back, ran in his socks onto the crackling glass,
put his arms around me?