Drought

Ah, Coffee. Or the roots of the basswood, material for
building kites, diving under my porch steps. Rust collects in

   the basin
from which I irrigate using rain water, blood spilling

into a wound, the hot earth absorbing it. If I’m stressed
enough its disappearance might do an uncanny-valley

   number on
me, while the flight of the oriole’s like something witnessed

through night goggles, a rhythm-strip popping on a heart
monitor. Have you ever imagined the conversation during your

.     own hypothetical
autopsy? This shit’s spread all over. It’s amazing he lasted

through winter. I look at the hacksaw hanging on my garage
wall, a tool for dismantling. My coffee is hot, spiked with

.     Irish cream.
I feel a breeze, the only thing around here without a body.

***

Movie Extra

As in The Ectopic, the fairy goddess descends earthward
through the ribs of bare trees. The flow is soft-filtered. The

   camera operator
is encouraged Take advantage of any lens flare. The realistic

actors, just back from the realistic bar, in a realistic nearby
town, might as well be live-captioned inside their own thought

   balloons; they’re
hung-over, mumbling, hilarious. The woods are full of corpses,

wide-open graves. In the theater, the floor grows sticky, floodlights
swing across a neighborhood pond. “Cut,” says the director, when

   the fish
stop taking insects. Rain falls, diagonally, across a nearby airfield.

The actress who plays the lead blows three smoke rings from where
she is “dying” in a bath. The key grip eats a Graham Cracker and

   says “Okay,
I’m ready.” “Are you ready?” the director asks the male lead,

who is smoking a joint halfway hidden behind a Port-a-John rented
for the day’s filming. I go for a walk in some nearby woods. Invisibility.

***

David Dodd Lee is the author of ten books of poetry, including Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014), Orphan, Indiana (Akron, 2010), Abrupt Rural (New Issues, 2004), as well as a forthcoming book of collages and poetry, entitled Unlucky Animals (Wolfson Press, 2019). He has also published two books of Ashbery erasure poems. He writes and makes visual art (collage, sculpture) and kayaks in Northern Indiana, where he lives on the St. Joseph River. He is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University South Bend.