Clay Matthews The 2River View, 9.1 (Fall 2004)
Crank Capital, USA

Aunt Rita sits on the front porch and her legs
look like skinny wooden statues, nicked and white,
the blue veins rising for a taste of fresh air.

Wal-Mart’s hid all the Sudafed behind the counter,
and the parks are covered with wadded-up tin foil
and straws. What's left to do, really.

Jimmy needs the extra cash and works piecework,
so he hits the foil in the morning and thinks
about his ex-wife and kids and getting the hell out

of the Midwest. Crazy Mary’s hair falls out
and she's blown two judges and the prosecuting
attorney for letting her off with probation.

Whose people are these? Where does this taste
for acrid smoke come from? Little Mario
speeding for three weeks straight with a knife

in the kitchen, trying to cut the black bugs
out from underneath his skin. And the blade goes to work,
and all the pain of trying to set something free.

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