by Bill Jansen
32nd cousin twice removed (3.47 ERA)
of Earl Skruggs I get jumped
at karaoke sea-lion cave in Forest Grove,
(across from Periscope used book store)
late, but I make it
to 1000th Grand Opening of Bi-Mart,
(across from Ace Hardware).
None of the vehicles in parking lot
are later than 1952.
There is a persistent rain
that smells of Old Spice
but the truth and the ground
and every other bastard thing is dry.
Lucky Strike model in cocktail dress
lifts me out of my 94 Mazda pickup
and abandons me: a baby smoking a cigarette.
I crawl happily toward the store entrance.
1946 in a cottage near a clover leaf
in New Jersey, the cocktail waitress
has her dress snagged on barb wire
a gallant rapist is holding down with an umbrella.
In the cottage a phone is ringing off the hook.
Will someone please pick up the phone,
unavoidably delayed by a storm
in the path of their migration
the dead are calling collect.