Brad Liening

Why are the best romantic gestures always
the doomed the hopelessly moronic part of me

doesn't believe that at all but the other part
is unplugging the phone starting the dishwasher

just to hear the wet chug and believe it leads
to cleanliness if not purity no never that

that's an ideal we snatch after like Tantalus
maybe or better an infant after a mobile

dangling above the bassinet mobiles are
supposed to aid in development so the failure

to obtain is ingrained in us from the get go
and in this way pushing us to our better selves

a nice idea but then to walk outside into
three feet of snow can't start the car

the bottom of the bag rips open and where’'d
the suspension bridge go this is terrible

an awful thing to happen to a suspension bridge
never again to see its cables shake tautly just

a bit or listen to the river rush swirl around
the pilings driven who knows how deep

and no explanation not even a note scrawled
on the back of a receipt for soup plums

paper towels so what are we supposed to do
now what are we to thunder across in our

brokenhearted attempt to regain what we
know we can't what are we to hurl ourselves

from our desperate hopes and loves clanging
like railroad spikes cloud-covered moons like

miles of metal shavings our dreams
like soap rubbed in our eyes kittens

crowbars and even then oh only half formed.




This was written in the middle of a Minnesota winter.