Peter Berghoef

Woolly mammoths living lavishly in a park I designed

it takes up most of  Siberia

I've been snacking
wearing out the joystick
landing helicopters on purely hypothetical islands

sandwiches most men would kill for
on plates engineered to bring forth the best in both boys and girls

some kind of engine
the fuel could be mice feet or gnarled bones bought at estate sales
a car left running after the groceries have been brought in
or after a trip to the store has been abandoned

a cold turn at the wheel
and the captain has big plans
the night doesn't look like it will leave anytime soon
a man can only do so much

a list of objects to resurrect
in no particular order
slobbering together on the veranda

the actual definition of meandering
into a plastic cup under harsh light
pretending to pass a test
inventing farms to laugh at

those would be the basic rules of the universe I'm talking about
if you can imagine that
a few massive vessels to carry most of us to the nearest habitable planet

not the technical details
the uses of beaks
lengthening the seasons
cracking odd seeds
sweeping the remains to the floor

low self esteem in house cats must be a real problem
there must be studies to prove it
there must be a librarian who can find that for me
I'm simply not explaining it right

between all of the houses are small patches of grass
and driveways and places to leave hoses
these are opportunities to meet mosquitos and fall into chairs
make a plan to wake up at a certain time while its still morning

walk in from the yard
lock the door
put the music back on
try not to disappoint the animals

the cash from a few machines is all it would take
the pictures we would post
the cold chills while the transaction takes place
falling asleep near the front door

this is how we get warmed up
we walk to the gravesite wearing winter clothes
we get the car stuck in heavy snow
one of us must be lowered down to the surface
wearing mittens or something sticky to grab up all the scattered paper

they are near the tennis courts
they are the history of a number of mature trees
inspired to sit out back and pop open the good beer
give the restaurant a kiss on the lips
the sludge moving forward

it is a big hulking monster
on a trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than the history of paint
separated at the river going both ways
Nebraska and Wisconsin

have your laughs
drive your car on the roads
milk the cows you find in the pastures
drink the photos of fading barns
but don't pour them on your cereal

as always have a laugh
injure yourself comically falling from a horse
pretending again
make it a secret how you really hurt your arm

Peter Berghoef lives in Holland, Michigan, with his wife Erin and their cat Charles. His chapbook "News of the Haircut" is currently available from Greying Ghost. 

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