For two weeks I waited for the other sock
to turn up so I could reunite it with its friend,
fold their cotton bodies together & place them
in the drawer just like, for maybe an hour everyday
after you go to work, I keep searching the house
for you. I want to lie down in your hair,
to mangle your heart with my teeth. Nick says
he's cleared for launch again, not just hunkering
inside his own old heart. This is good for the roses
which are meant to indicate on every map
the location of something lovely but unreachable.
The roads don't go there, they circle.
It's good for Nick too, but that seems beside the point
since soon even my computer will have feelings.
It was about this time of year, but a different year,
that I spent every afternoon delicately chewing
alfalfa sprouts & some kind of paste stuffed
between slices of multigrain bread while reading
about old gods on their floating god island, their forgotten
beards, their metaphorical bridge to humanity.
Today I watch one woman walk through the rain,
her boots ridiculous & wet, her heels so perilously
towering over the worms on the sidewalk.
It can be instructive to have occasional glimpses
of something more divine than ourselves
but sometimes it's better to just stay out of the way
& alive. Every morning in the past, I'd bike
to the nearest diner which was maybe twelve miles distant
& wait conspicuously for someone to change my life.
Today my job is something that didn't even exist
back then when I was nothing but a myth,
a story in a book no one wanted to open.
I drank flagons of ale & killed everyone near me
but in the delicate twilight I tended my goats
to demonstrate there was still something good about me.
My axe was shiny but my hammer could sing.
The bubble sheet inventory could never have
predicted a future like this — where we get lost
& found a few hundred times before lunch,
where no one believes in me anymore.
Nate Pritts is the author of six books of poems, most recently Right Now More Than Ever. He founded H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press, in 2001 & serves as Director & Prime Architect for its various endeavors.