Best of the Net 2006  


Last night when I went for a walk
in the old neighborhood
I heard the repressed hum of the garage
door openers
held in abeyance,
watched the designer mailboxes steam
like blocks of dry ice
hurled onto a football field . . .
Then, this morning,
I saw my ex-wife's hand move for a doorknob
and watched my daughter turn her head.
And the white and red towel
with pictures of different kinds of apples
on it appeared folded over the back
of my mother's couch.
What the hell is all this anyway?
And what lesson is buried inside
a moment that suddenly reverses itself mid-river
and you smell the same spray of lilacs over earth mixed with warm skin
but watch a different woman
close and then open her green eyes?
The beach yesterday was the same old beach.
The same blue buckets full of sand,
the same paunchy guy
in an inappropriate speedo with mustache,
the same gray gulls fighting for scraps of food.
Then the clouds rolled in,
a black line blooming out of the formerly undetectable
white horizon,
turning out bellies brown.
And the first big rain drops patted the sand.
That's when we heard the airplane
sputtering--its engine missing
and catching like a backfiring car--
all of us there on the beach, watching it fly
in low just over the dunes.

-David Dodd Lee (Big Toe Review)