Amy McDaniel

The Mistake/Error

A mistake is something you know better than
Like do you still think of America as an experiment?

Or, to me it seems as if the porch light will never go out—
But I would have said porch light was one word: porchlight.

That’s an error because I didn’t know the rule and on purpose
I still haven’t learned it. I still want to think the eternal porchlight.

I believed that Marilyn Manson was Paul from the Wonder Years
Because things being the same as other, dissimilar things pleases me.

We watched the sun set. We were on the beach and we watched the sunset.
Lest you imagine the sun setting over the ocean, let me correct the mistake. It

Set over the tops of buildings on the other side of the highway over the Inter-
Coastal Waterway. You know the rule—not all oceans are to the west of all

Beaches. So we had to stand on tippy-toe and move around to find the right
Angle to see it. Sunsets, orgasms and eyes are all beautiful and powerful,

So you may not believe me when I say this one was special. Especially
When I tell you that I thought I saw the sun burning red beyond

The dunes but what I really saw wasn’t the sun, it was, as my
Friend sadly, kindly pointed out, the sign for the Crab Trap.

Amy McDaniel lives in Atlanta with her dog, Annette. Her stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Tin House, PANK, The Agriculture Reader, Saveur, H_NGM_N, and elsewhere. Selected Adult Lessons, her chapbook, came out in 2010 from Agnes Fox Press and promptly sold out. Now she is revising a novel about cheese, wine, and coincidences.

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