It covers everything, a glossy January rind along tires. Sunny days have brought it out, burned away the ice, left the calcified tidelines to gloat on the hoods and sun-warm trunks of cars queued up along the curb, parking close as they can get to each other, to the raised sidewalk that’s buried beneath the dirt crust next to the neon-lit sign for the funeral home. The body of the boy we knew is still inside, the cheeks teased back to cheery life with rouge. The ice on the canal the faulty floor through which he descended blazing on the back of his Arctic Cat is black as slate which means it’s thin and boys on the shore throw aimless stones that yield ricochets with laser sounds. The outdoor rink is bare, festooned with bits of the Canadian flag fragments of the maple leaf glistening starlike after storm.
From Vacationland by Ander Monson, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright © 2005 by Ander Monson. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Tupelo Press.