A Mild-Mannered Malediction
May your coffee be weak
and your tea too strong. May you lose
your bet with the needle on your gas gauge.
May your favorite jeans be uncomfortably
tight and the space around you newly vast.
May you always be someone else's
Let the bottom fall out of your garbage bag
and the cat puke in your midnight path
to the kitchen. Let your phone really be dead,
uncharged or out of range, like those times
you couldn't be reached. As you can see,
I am not accustomed to calling
anyone to account.
How about this? After you ducked and ran
out on your wife, she said with wonder
but no rancor at all, "He threw me out,
just like trash." May that ring through your life
as it has mine. Oh just go step on a lego,
you piece of shit.
We've learned to live with a cabinet door
that falls off when you close it,
a dishwasher that backs up in the sink
and a sliding door that sticks
to its tracks. There are cobwebs
we don't even see, dust on the hoya plant
and we only notice the drip drip of decline
when we look with the critical eye of commerce.
We were vested, once. Kept the porch swept
and the front door shut against the vermin
wind. Yesterday I saw colored light
on the popcorn ceiling we meant to remove.
It was from an old crystal that swings
in the sun. I should clean it but it still breaks
delay into rainbow. I'll just let it go.
The black & white dog near the end of her life
learned she could lift up her head
like a coyote and sing to the deer skull
hanging on the wall, to blue petunias
that would outlast her by a day,
to the monsoon downpour she hated
and the peanut butter pills she loved.
She could howl a counterpoint to a video
of herself baying at a bouquet of rusty bells
hanging from the back porch beam.
Sara Clancy a Philadelphia transplant to the Desert Southwest. Her chapbook Ghost Logic won the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in Arizona with her husband and daughter, their dog and a psychotic cross-eyed cat.