Dragon Pretzels

Never Was

It was twice what I remembered

when I returned to those

glyphs the stoneflies make

with their dried husks on rocks

at the high-water mark.

Tiny called them dragon pretzels

before she drowned last spring,

but let’s not go there.

The water isn’t what

it used to be. Never was,

never will be. I heard that from

a drunk who said he caught

that thirteen pounder on the wall

down at The Lucky Loser.

I told him I was out of a job

and he said give me a quarter

and I’ll tell you why I care,

then he tried to sell me postcards

of dead cops in car crashes.

Before he left, I told him there’s

a fungus that grows in the dumps

around here that might cure

whatever it was he had

that made him act that way.

Sometimes I’ll walk out

over the interstate and imagine

the oncoming traffic is headed

for another planet. Any more,

that’s about the only way

I can get to sleep.


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