I shouldn’t have to go here
with you: a bandit ties the farmer’s dog to a century
oak by the untouched creek. You see human
interest piece, sunny & rounding out the evening news
where I see eclipsed casket. Where I say released he will roam
the same radius. Surely, I don’t have to tell you there’s a gun
semi-automatic & lodged in the black cherry thicket, but I do
have to tell you about the semi-automatic jail cell clanging
open, not for me, because that’s just sound world-making.
I’ll say it like this: I don’t jog in the park with my blindsides
shaded anymore. Look, here, through the spangled screen
door: there was once a kid, ordinary in every American leisure
except one. I won’t name him. You’ll look away.
Again: there was too much Shepherd’s Pie, a slice of Apple
& one sturdy carving knife. In damp air hung glints
of siren moon, few sirens, sleepy porch lamps blinking on
& an ache for antacids that jogged a man
to the corner store, like puttering wind, then back over
the town’s little blacktop hills near the park’s edge
where there was a shot street light & lots of wheezing
over a bench, & there were three shadows, a pit bull
tied to the bench & a bulge in his gut
that was a bulge in his gut, which
must’ve looked to one shadow like a box cutter & not
a roll of Tums, & then there are, frankly,
too many black cherry thickets streaked with blood.
Sometimes, I can barely walk
out into daylight wearing a cotton sweatshirt
without trembling. & surely I don’t have to
tell you who gets put down, which one walks away.
Listen to Marcus Wicker read “Silencer to the Heart While Jogging Through a Park.”
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