Summer Job, July

Shy of route twelve, I cut through the woods
and step through the fence of dumpsters

behind the Lighthouse Grocery.
All the butcher boys have eyes like movie stars—

languid heart-throbs in their white coats
among the carcasses. A tan blonde

with bruises flowering in the ditch of his arm
bikes across the parking lot, and off along the highway.

I imagine, in bed, his hair would smell of lake weed
and blood. Needles drained beneath the lamp beside us.

Honey, I want to say to him, what have you got for me. 
Look how blue the sky is fitted for us this Saturday. 

The moral compass, like a possum,
has its own deliberate life.

I can flick it on and off like a light
when I blink but it moves when it wants

without me, hisses.
A soft gray climbing the dark.

In the fields are the Amish picking strawberries.
In the fields are the bones of a dog, blanched white by the sun.

Front page image by waterarchives.

# # #