Poetry from Mackenzie Cole
After m. l. smoker’s “Dear Dick”
My day is a woman who will leave me.
Let me tell you about some places that grew
me up. This fence line is where my hands
became uniform. We used to run to this tree
with our arms swung out and try to lift
off the ground. Today is far off from here.
At the Union Club people like to talk about
the little time they spent with you and be warmed.
They say that since the drinking killed you
it must have been bad. But how else
do we live this long? With all those days behind us?
I would put up a good twenty dollars to find out.
Dick, my mouth is bitter as two day old coffee
and my stomach won’t keep. People told me
near the end you would drive them down to Pburgh
and get them drunk because you couldn’t.
And we all like to look at you up on the wall
in the English building, and bet on the drink
in your hand. You taught us the day is a woman
who loves you. Dick, tomorrow is an old man
who has gone flaccid, who can be generous
mostly to himself. Dick, there is a runaway
horse near the offramp, frantic and miles from people.
Mackenzie Cole’s work has appeared in Beecher’s, Camas, Ghost Town, Pacifica, and is forthcoming in Passages North. They are the founder and janitor of Milltowne Press, and they live in Missoula, Montana, where they received an MFA from the University of Montana. Keep up with them at deadfallsandsnares.com.