I refuse to give in, as I refuse
the tin cans and wailing of the child two floors up
as I refuse this morning’s televised car crash, the volume
still reaching me at the bath’s bottom.
This dark din, as useless as three baths
in a day, useless as the stuttering static of the man
paralyzed, his wheelchair capsized into the crowd
rushing from last night’s symphony, his guttural rage.
A crow flies through the house, which makes
my dog crazy. Underneath the water, I listen
to his muffled barking, the crow
flapping couch to kitchen chair, flying again
and again into the sliding glass door.
Once, the dog almost had him.
Make him stay with your father’s gold watch
the hours drown, and still so much
remains for the taking, for stealing.
You think of rope, a man’s arms
like rope. But again
you leave the doors unlocked, your hands
cached in a box
and the computer running.
Upstairs, you’ve hidden the one thing
that can’t be hidden. The dog is sedated
won’t stay quiet.
Sarah Wetzel is the author of River Electric with Light, which won the 2013 AROHO Poetry Publication Prize; and Bathsheba Transatlantic, which won the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry (2010).