When your genius had grown tiresome to everyone,
and the profligate owners of many karaoke bars
had agreed to never readmit you, not again
after that last time and all the phlegmatic pleading
and bedraggled supplication, you had to go
down to the gushing artery of the interstate
and think of rivers. In your hands you held
a wheel of cheese you bought at a mall
and while the passing cars began to glow in the dark
and their horns sang intermittent rage,
you wished to be more intensely American.
In motion, slamming into the febrile horizon.
While the night just happened, no warning, no nothing,
you tried to eat, to not be hungry,
to be aware of many other things.
It was the kind of holiday no one despises.
People warred about snow and where coffee comes from.
A pigeon hopped past, unable to fly:
one leg dragged on the ground,
mangled, unexplained. You knew it would die.