Putting up with Sacramento

11 Nov

It’s quiet even for a Sunday. Pete’s loading compost or garbage onto his pickup.
“They’re all in church.”
I just look at him. He must have meant the Baptists.
I go to church on Fri nights.Pray to the holy mother and burn candles.
Round in the middle like all my friends. Saturday morning we call for rain.
Sunday nights are for sweeping up. I’ll kill some spiders. Dust away their cowed webs.
Hot now. Never dew, no fog,
not even a California spit -and- polish sun shower.
This heat and the stink of Sacramento politics gives me a headache.
The stink of my close neighbors garbage on the other side of this fence,
a composite sketch of this postage stamp yard on this side of the fence.
I think, “Can’t they see I’m sick?” But it’s really happening for me now.

I’ll call a lawyer. I have one in mind. I will quit my job.
I won’t need to run this time. The nightmares are bearable.
The kid from the newspaper will come around with his camera.I’ll tell him,
“Lookit,don’t get too close with that thing.”
But I really don’t think there’ll be any press.
I’ll show them old clippings, press the paper into their hands,
I’ll show them my hands; I’ve been working since I was 12 years old.
That smile won’t escape me. Sighs maybe. Everyone wants the old nurse
to draw blood, give the shots. With practice it hurts less. Rub in some Vaseline.

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