portion of the artwork for Damian Caudill's poetry
In Which I Find Myself Reeling Somewhere Outside Parma, Ohio
Damian Caudill

and then Sarah came over and let herself in with the spare-spare key.
The one that is not the one kept on the porch beneath my wife’s frost-bitten geraniums,
which now fading
are the favorite color.
That of the blood stuck beneath the nail of my first wine crushed toe,
the backwards bend of the proximal fold a stitch above our dripping wedding rings.
The idea that if you drop a dishwasher from the roof of the very first sky-scraper you ever
remember looking up at
it will land closest to the man you were meant to marry.

mumbling into my chest now and smelling of distant salt-water,
tells me that the just missed parts of waking up at 43 and a day is what’s really been
keeping everyone up at night.
That trans-fat is just a thing,
and the floundering 401k is also,
just a thing.
And that when someone’s kid falls from a bunk-bed and breaks an arm
that’s just another sort of thing.

And this time when I picture my wife and the car salesman in romance
I like version number 3 the best.
In which, upon our high-angled entrance into the scene,
we swoop the camera intimately low
to find our lovers locked inside a 2007 Subaru hatch-back eating pot stickers
and Lo Mein out of biggie-sized cup holders.
Black plastic mimics in this moment,
enacts the heavy comfort of pre-heated bowls of clay.

In which, if one were to turn on all the lights in the grand showroom at 1 or 2 a.m.
my wife and the car salesman would appear as the idols of ’50s films
and amateur modeling agencies.
Lounging across the broad hood of a softly humming Mustang,
Coca-Cola packaged in unreasonably nostalgic glass bottles leaving wet rings
around their hands and waists.

Or in other watery heads
they appear as the jumbled victims of centripetal car crash.
The bad luck of ending up curved around a tire well,
of being bent to fit the concave shape of an unnerving excess in horsepower.
In this moment I appreciate the internal blood bloom
that hides the worst of it from our eyes.

Today when I shaved at the sink I nicked myself with the razor for the first time in years
and then a minute later I did it again.
Today Sarah came over with her red brush of hair
held up by countless sky-blue pins of the thinnest metal
and gave me a well thought-out resignation speech.
In which she referenced my lack of compassion,
the faulty footwork exhibited most embarrassingly at the annual IBM Gala,
the ever widening gap in my teeth that I can’t quite seem to shake.

Today my wife came home with a brand new car
and let herself in with the spare key when I wouldn’t open the front door.
Today I discovered that if a woman drops a dishwasher from a skyscraper
it always lands closest to the other man’s other man.
Today I locked myself inside the old Honda and drove backwards
through the garage door.
Today I stalled out in the lot of the largest car dealership in Northeast Ohio,
where ten thousand alarms sounded off in split-tongue around me
and my wine crushed thumb swelled thicker than ever over the panic button
once in red
and then again in blue.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 33 | Summer 2011