Name as Many Uses as You Can for the Following Objects
Brick: to prop a broken chair on a sagging porch in Blawnox; orphan a pair of children raised with only a father to care for them; hold up a wall; knock out a window; test the depth of an elevator shaft; chase the angels out of the trees in the back yard.
Crate: carry the head of the emperor; carnivorous-plant stand; apple basket; dog bed; kindling for the nights of coming darkness.
Ballbat: the arms of a scarecrow, the pendulum of a clock; kill flies in midair; break the arms of deadbeats; smack golf balls into the discarded mills along the dark smear of the Allegheny; flatten the dough.
Quilt: cover the sick as they lie toe to toe in the high school gymnasium; snap the air into wind; elephant the couch; carry the groceries up the Mission Street stairs; parachute a leap off the garage into the Shasta daisies.
Poem: test of endurance; measure of abandon; of devotion; of obsession; song of angels fleeing the trees.
How to Survive
First, take the highway south
in the direction
of the sun—after all that
ice and white
and the grizzled gray
of the roadway snowbanks
you’ll be needing something more,
something that resolves itself
in azure and vermilion.
Next, find the exit
hidden in the palmetto leaves—
you’ll have been driving for days
now, so don’t trust your eyes—
the sharp, serrated road into switchgrass
and sky, the chime of insects
filling up the car and the rich air,
the ruckus of waterbirds
filling up the trees, everything
you have ever wanted.
Limestone gravel crunching
beneath your wheels, the shotgun
house, gray against the sun,
reposing, as I am, waiting for you here,
where the page is blank, at last.