August 6, 2003

Vermont is (tonight)
how I imagine Oregon
full of rain as though
leaking up from the ground
rather than simply falling.

Everything is wet
yet the bugs still persist
adrift in sheets of water.

If you should open the screen door
for the time it takes to blow
cigarette smoke into the night
they funnel in as though on salary
from the local precinct house (smoking; bad)
or simply trying to save themselves
from a death by rain, that drowning insecticide.

I am eaten and all the while
we fear our dog is dying.
Distended white belly
and coal tar shits
so painfully deposited.
Rats leaving the dead boat
that awaits nothing now
but the scuttler’s final injection.

Can the literature of a wet climate (hot or cold)
do anything other than sink beneath disease?