The Solitude of Birdsong – A Poem

I left it by the eggs.
I can remember that.
But where the eggs are?
That I can’t remember.

An image I am trying to recreate
is masked by the rapids.
Water falling unreflective,
white.

I think back to yesterday when Alex stole that car.
When we stole that car.
She was just paid fifty dollars
for dressing up like Lady Liberty
to lure people into a store.
Standing outside for four hours
she held a sign with an arrow
to point them in the right direction.
But no one followed it.
No one went in the whole time
she was out there.

The man who owned the store
wasn’t happy.
“Worst fifty bucks I ever spent.”
But he paid her anyway.

And she was wanting to get into town
to spend it all away.
So that is why Alex found an easy target
(a car parked outside a movie theater)
and waived for me to hurry into
the passenger seat.
When we drove away she reached over
and popped open the glove box.
“Bad parents,” she said
pointing her thumb to the back
to an empty child’s car seat.
“Good parents always have snacks
for their kids,” she smiled.
For some reason this justified the crime
to me.
I felt reassured.

This world and everyone in it
can fuck off
bastards.
“That is what he wrote?” Alex asked me
later at night
when we were back at my house.
She looked up from the sink
with her short, dark hair
clinging to her face after she wet it down.
I was busy with the eggs and tortillas.
“He was a shit writer,” I said.
She pouted her lips and rubbed her head
with both hands.
She asked me a personal question
that I refused to answer.

At the border of Belmont County
(the eastern border)
my house is breaking apart.
It’s a short bike ride
or a nice walk
to the river where the falls are.
That is where the image was before
it went away.
Or disappeared.
Or maybe I just lost it.

It’s one of those things that I can’t
remember,
and can only now try to recreate.

Alex walks in front of me along the path.
She is wearing jeans and her arms are crossed
behind her back.
I have the wrong type of shoes on
so my feet hurt.

The rushing sound of the falls is interrupted
by the solitude of birdsong.

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