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Empty Raft

Dan Pinkerton

Once you crouched severely over
bedsheets, never daring to lift them,
awaiting the first damp traces of dawn,
something you knew would come.

And the April floods, the languid crows
on the toolshed roof, the sheaf of bills—
nothing you really craved.

This you sought and paid for: 
the lipstick-smeared glass,  
the trace elements. 

You second guessed your leg hair,
a quandary of quality versus quantity. 
You second guessed your penis size:
average went the refrain as you measured

and stretched at three in the morning,
the darkest of skies outside
but for the streetlamp orbited by insects. 

Like the way you circled her hips
and thighs, snorting then pawing the dirt. 
Therein lay the problem. 

Sounds limped through the walls. 
You formed a brisk alliance
with the Frigidaire, two entities fighting
to keep things preserved, two battles lost. 

The sounds of her breathing left the room
for a glass of water, a transit ticket. 
Sunlight coursed through the poplar trees

as you watched an empty raft
float across the swimming pool,
bumping blindly wall to wall.

You prodded it with a stick
till it breathed its final breath and succumbed, 
yet it kept floating, rocking: 
the damned thing would not sink. 

Dan Pinkerton

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