Poem #97

Linger in vapors of gasoline…

Among twenty snowy mountains…

from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, by Wallace Stevens

Walking a Rose City suburb highway,
the very disenchanting smell
that once burned sweet, which now decays bitter,
lingers in vapors of gasoline.

Her boyfriend was to remove paint from her hand. Grandma cried
while the aluminum, colored coating dried
on her skin, and announced at further delay, “It’s permanent.”
He and I suggested using gasoline as a solvent

and began dabbing a red garage rag. However to our surprise,
this brought more tears to her eyes
“It will burn it…” was her exclaim,
yet we retorted, “Not without a flame…”,

our reply
was dismissed as any lie.

By Woody drive, a couple are in a kitchen
as Grandma, her boyfriend, and I,
yet you cannot hear their discussion–
after five it must be about supper preparation
or their separate work days, citing a darkening sky.

If you listen over shoe heels tapping asphalt through the trees,
then you may hear nearby water trickling down a hillside into a creek through the trees,
then you may hear a distant dog reporting something in close proximity through the trees,
if you listen over shoe heels tapping asphalt through the trees.

Nails are painted, flowers are delivered, carpets for homes have been sought.
Customers and coworkers are leaving, leaving left and right, leaving each parking lot.
Evening emitted from gasoline, gone into a tank, gone into an engine after it was bought.

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