Seven Postcards from Lancaster


                          after Mary Ruefle


I.

Are you the daughter of she who drives the taxicab-colored hearse? The one with ‘PATIENCE’ as a license plate? Honey, can you tell your mom she needs to move her long, bright car? She’s parked on the hose I’m using to extinguish this porch fire.



II.

I got the number of she who drives the phonebook-yellow hearse, the one with ‘SMUCKER IS A RAT’ on the car topper. Honey, she’s not even my type. I only want to see if I can buy advertising. Oh, I’m not married to it, but maybe, ‘STAN’S STEAKS’ as a door decal?



III.

Todd followed close to she who drove the forsythia-colored hearse. Slow chase. Sleep won. Factually, Todd rear-ended her, but the only damage his motorcycle did was obscure for good her big bumper sticker, which said, if you’ll remember: ‘DO NOT RESUSCITATE SEXY’.


IV.

You are not impressed by she who drives the emoji-yellow hearse, the one with ‘DEATH 2 COWBOY’ key-scratched into the rearview, but you wish her well in her placebo pursuit of hell-raising!


V.

The dog just bit hard she who drives the policetape-colored hearse. My son is stanching her wound with a totebag as we speak, and the sorry dog has fled into a low tree. Help me, there’s blood all over the driver’s side door, and as it drips it spells the names of gods from everywhere, all of whom hate rolling out of bed this pissing early.



VI.

Every night we dream a prank on he who owns the toddlershit brown El Camino, the one with a Christmas tree in the bed, the fir that’s laid there for eleven months, brown now as a cicada shell. What we’re gonna do is wrap it all up in lights some night soon. Gonna stand it up in its bed. Just imagine him walking out to move the car for street cleaning, his chakras doing fucking backflips.



VII.

My ex it’s true is she who drives the plantain-yellow hearse, the one with the names of all our dead emblazoned on the trunk. Or, no, I’m sorry, it was all our living. Excuse me—her living. Though almost monthly, believe me, we’d have to putty-knife away a dozen or so very fine letters. I heard a rumor the back windows are all scraped clear now, that if it weren’t for the tinting you could press your eye to the glass and, like a telescope, see straight through the vehicle to whatever’s on the other side. But alas, the tinting. She drives our son to kindergarten and the kids all crowd around like mosquitos, peering into the windows, seeing only their own distorted faces.   

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