When he was thirty-eight years old, he found himself
in a stranger’s basement confronted by a calendar
that had stopped dead on the day he was born.
He became the kind of man who bought snow
tires, rotated his wheels regularly, a man who
shopped around for the best deal on life insurance.
Many years ago, he climbed to the top
of an important Mexican pyramid on a date
with a woman who is now his ex-wife.
He had almost no interest in gods, thinking
their existence beside the point. Though he loved
the desert, he had no real plans to live there.
I say let’s keep wasting our lives and burn
our trash as we go. They say you don’t miss
your water until your well runs dry,
but I bet there’s always something else to drink,
even if it’s dust. All this chatter about how to be
a man, as if there were some alternative.
Everything we’ve done is for the best.
Consider the cosmology of Cracker Jack.
The corn was here before you were.
This appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
Damian Rogers wrote Dear Leader. She is the magazine’s poetry editor, and the creative director of Poetry in Voice/Les voix de la poésie, a national bilingual recitation contest for high school students.