SHERYL A. ST. GERMAIN,  HOPING FOR DISASTER

The days stretch out,

changeless, efficient
as a familiar recipe.

Your life is too sober.
You have the wary eyes
of a recovered alcoholic,
though you are not one.

Everything repeats itself but passion,
which has run out like a creek
in late summer. Your eyes widen and bag
like an owl in the morning. You ask
your reflection what do you know
that you look like this.
Your heart weakens but does not stop;
it is as if you have some flu
of the heart, or you have lost
it, the heart, somewhere.

They told you to stockpile provisions here,
in case the creek floods and you can't get out.
So you've put your mother’s six cans of tomatoes
into the pantry. Her face beams from the outside
of the cans: eat me without guilt.
Your father is in the whiskey bottle
hidden behind the cans of corn that are your sister.
He is half gone, you have drunk much of him
the last nights here. And you don't know
where your brother is, perhaps lost with your heart,
and today you have decided to build a raft
with some dead branches and twine,
you are hoping for disaster,
something huge, something to destroy
everything.