a day until may

Carpet the color of sour milk,
Splotched and gray, duller than a rainy Humboldt day.
Martian toes that could pass for fingers
With nails matching the fading purple bruise on my right knee.
The wounded knee settled over the left
Not Indian style, nor applesauce, a wanna be yoga pose maybe.
A butcher knife shaking in my bony tender hands.
One day until May yet I crouch in front of the furnace still,
The plank cutting board on my swollen knees,
an apple diced to the size of my teeth
And one orange sliced to smithereens.

After fifteen months of shunning fruit
the cravings finally broke into me last week.

I would butcher the tree harvestings at my kitchen counter
but the linoleum tile is ice beneath my unworked lazy feet.
Someone ship me a treadmill please.
Hiking is not appealing when the wind could make a kite out of me.

skip skip skip skip skip skip skip skip skip

a beat.

Or perhaps not a kite but a weighted
weed too rooted to soar the skies and
shredded in place from the gusting.

reverse reverse reverse

Cross E for Eureka to F for Fury tripping
over my unlaced London boy shoes.
Should of worn my military issued combat boots.
A window lurks down on a silver truck
with tires as high as my thick thighs.
“Shakey’s?” The guy calls out. “You know where Shakey’s is?”
Lift my shoulders. Narrow my eyes. Too much caffeine in mouth to reply.
Cross E to F. E to F. E to F. Pick up your feet. Don’t mind the gazing truck.

“Come on, girl, where’s Shakey’s at?”
“Don’t know,” I finally say.
“Not from around here, eh?”
“I just don’t like shakes.”
Truck Idiot grins. “You’re funny!”
I wait for May during the longest street crossing
experience in the history of Heather ever.

Mini Trooper is just with in reach.
Its red gleams like a victory
Just on the other side of this new street,
just gotta cross this second street.
But oh oh oh what do you know silver truck pulls up then.
I jump across the intersections. Get away get away get away.
Momma and Poppa taught me to fear all strange men.
Like the good girl I am I refuse to let this stigma drift.
Truck Idiot bounces out and waves. Follows me into the cave.
Poncho and wavy hair, lazy eyes, taller then me. Smells like weed.
Some lazy transplant hippie obviously. I stand behind my little car
as he runs across the street. “Silly you!” He laughs,
“Shakey’s is right there.” He waves a bulky arm to a run down blue bar
on the corner just ahead and I can’t help but wonder why he asked me
where it was if he knew the entire time, so I chuck my backpack into my
car with unnecessary vigor to show my obvious macho girl strength.

“Swell,” I say.
And poncho
truck boy steps
real near to
murmur in my
ear: “Come join
me for some
cocktails, yeah
yeah yeah yay?”

Four pm and my pupils are dilated from thesis revising
and the sun has finally arrived to Humboldt County
so the brains of the locals are all sprouting insane and
four pm you know four pm on a Saturday before May
yet my hands are still always red because of the northern
cold wind so what do I say what do I say what do I say to
this boy who I am convinced is from out east maybe
Pennsylvania or Virginia perhaps and my knees just cracked
from the weight of my ass grown wide from all of
April’s polynomial factoring so what do I say what do I say
what do I say what do I say what do I say what do I say?

No. I’m nineteen.

He chokes in a frenzy of laughter.
“What’s your name, liar?” Holds out a hand and squints.
I shake it, grip it, twist his fingers with my aching joints.
“Heather,” I smile. I dazzle. The wind blows my hair
like a cheesy romance cliche. I even soften my glare. “Your’s?”
“Jonah. C’mon, let me buy you a drink.”
I drop the shake and turn my back on him.

Four pm Four pm Four pm Four pm
Dear Heather, what will you have today?
Dear Heather, what will you do today?
Dear Heather, will you behave whacko today?

Open my car door and grin to the sun.
“Pleasure to meet you, Jonah.” I look back at him as I add,
“Enjoy a fruity cocktail for me, okay?”
Get in the Mini and speed speed speed away.

Twenty minutes up the 101 past
the splintered eucalyptus skeletons,
the wind fishtailing my thoughts
the entire congested way.

I would say it was a good day.

Congratulations, Heather.
You made it to May.