by Mark Waldrop

When she told me to write it
I did; I scratched out what I wanted to say
in quick print letters.  Not all of it.
I could never get it all out in an hour but the
general idea was definitely there.

We had to finish it in the rain because
we couldn't light the fire
I was building moisture myself, my glasses
a shaken tonic of sprinkles and damp glass
teardrops and all of it seemed to hit the page.
It wrinkled and wadded,
and wouldn't tear clean and I'm surprised
I could get it to burn but I did.

She was on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette with my sandals.
Somehow I thought I didn't want to get the suede in the dirt
and I could feel grainy mud crawling spatters
up my legs and I warmed my hands over the pages, feeling
homeless, finally.