The sky is so muscular it’s nobody’s business
where the sun went or why. Who wants to know?
A ripped, gray marbled, low-riding bruiser of a sky.
It’s in no mood. Your best bet is to stand
in the parking lot of Mega-Foods
as if on the brink of leaving. Fondle your car keys
like a rosary, or a young snake’s rattle. Maybe

as if on the brink of leaving is the presiding angel
of days like this, and asphalt is her blessing.
It won’t quite rain, nor indicate clearing.
Clouds ride the rooftops like stolen horses.
In fact, there’s a hint of gun-play on the wind,

though maybe that’s just me. It’s a good day
for not taking stock of your life. Hawks
first learned to hover over the blood-
streaked highways on days such as this.
A sheet of newspaper pins itself against the hubcap
of a parked car like an exiled fortune
wanting back in its cookie. Don’t push it
some voice in the brain bristles, though
later it will seem the sky itself has spoken.

—Max Garland, Eau Claire, WI