Song of the Humming Drumlins

I got to get, to get, to get—no
to return the ice cubes I found
in my pocket to the freezer.

Time passes: closets, mirrors,
laundry, arguments, secret
hiding places. Bottom line:
there’s not enough room here.

When I finally make it
to the ocean
I realize:
1) my toes have been too close
    to the edge of the pier, and
2) my aunt Marilyn isn’t really ignoring
    my growing list of accomplishments,
        she’s dead. About ten years now.

Dead and ignoring you are kind
of the same superhero power
whereas dragging that 50-foot hose
for miles like I’d been doing was
sheer stupidity. Sheer as

Who put, who put, who put—no
who hid ice cubes in my pocket?

No one living tried to stop me
from dragging that hose down the street
through the dirt to the ocean but
the dead waved their arms
and howled at me from atop the dotted
yellow line. Cars plowed
right through ‘em.

The ocean is nice. I should come
here more often. [Phone rings]
“Marilyn?” and her voice
is so, so, so—no
happy for me. Yes,

she’s dead. About ten years now.
And the ice cubes? Somehow
they’re still all t/here.

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems, including her new book, Days of Shame and Failure. Her work has appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series as well as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review.
*Image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon/NASA.
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