Looking across a conference room table, the fish on the lake has been stripped
of its skin. The gulls, and the smell of the mud—it’s a moment so anti-aging, locked
in the moment. I think of not being good at preparation. The oil is still in the lawn-
mower’s crankcase. The ear plugs blow against the railroad tie. I thought of you when
with each tap of a finger the tow truck’s computer screen popped—it’s Yoga with
Kim all over again, and crying on the floor, only it’s two decades past Merrill Street,
and the gurgling won’t cease. I’m a dragon breathing fire. The candle wax floats
in cold isolation, a snow globe’s worth of due’s paying. Come see Shakespeare’s
Taming of the Shrew and eat pizza (Manners and Mannerisms)! Can you find the
subliminal voice of treason? No, everyone’s doing their best. Pronounce me any-
way you like, just don’t get that tattoo (yet). Compromised immune systems, you’ve
got to shine the light past the thousand hysterical minnows floating above the two-
toned Maverick’s gold headlights. The fishing shanties look like wood stoves leaning
away from such guardedness. One has a Home Sweet Home sign laid out in fish bones
and the wind, the pink gladioli of Easter coming before they can remember to cancel
league bowling. Little is known, although time stops in a water tower, little populations
of insects going unreported, the bird with one eaten-out eye a nutritional hotspot. I
mean it’s true you taste dark and hard (rock candy), and beautiful. Like the blur of tree
lines beyond soccer fields and deer crossings, a broken-down tractor, quiet now as a pink
sleeping pill . . . Find me wedged between stars. There’s no sugar added. Illuminate me.
-David Dodd Lee (St. Joseph County)
David Dodd Lee is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University South Bend, and lives in Osceola. He is the author of nine books of poems, the most recent of which is entitled Animalities, which is forthcoming in the fall of 2014 from Four Way Books. He is Editor-in-Chief of 42 Miles Press.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem from an Indiana poet every day in April (hand-selected by Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras). Check in daily to see who is featured next!