The car goes slowly down the freeway.
I think we are talking, some of us,
about who is still here and who is not.
I am thinking about the old man at the tire store.
How old are you? he said. You look maybe 16.
He asked me if I had been to the river.
He used to pan for gold.
The car misses its exit.
I am suddenly in the place we used to live.
You would bike home through the trees
even when it was raining.
I am home too late again.
You are already asleep
and I think probably angry.
I put a poppy in a jar.
I put the jar on the kitchen table.
I think, does Katie love poppies or peonies?
I think, what is the difference?
This flower is orange and limp. It does not smell like a flower.
It smells like a shovel blade in the too shallow earth.
It smells like licking dirt off of iron.