for Huddy and Val
our first job was a lazy heist: too young
to drive, the doctor in his bathrobe hauled us
to an empty lot where a new round
of halfway-built faux-Mansions stood hollow
like a mouth of fake teeth. the forests razed
to make room for the monstrosities sat
in mountains of chipped mulch, old oak, maple,
rendered lawn shards, and fresh for our taking.
the doctor’s wife hired us at the gym--
since we looked like strong, young guys, maybe
we could come by her house on the mountain
for ten bucks an hour and some free lunch;
the three of us did the math instantly,
a few hours would put us in thirty racks
of Milwaukee’s Best for the rest of August,
an eighth of weed, several McChickens too.
that’s why, two days later, the doctor drove
along the ridge, naked under his robe,
to that spot, dead sunday quiet, the trunk
packed with punctured burlap sacks, and we rushed
the mulchy hills, quickly, he advised,
before a real estate agent stops by.
we cut our palms on sawmill smells, wedged chips
clung to our bootlaces and cargo pants,
and fell to the idling car, bags bursting.
we spread the mulch around their pond, their two
perfect acres, fruit trees and heat-drooped pines,
we planted two oaks and covered their roots
with the bodies of dead maples. only once
did we turn to one another, dirt-browed,
to say how strange this world is, each thing
bent on stealing something it doesn’t need;
the doctor’s wife made us cheese sandwiches.
we crept to the deck, sore, mosquito-lumped,
drank wet-summer air, the dewey deck chairs,
to feast, dreaming of hours as objects.
we stained the bread with grimy, glutton hands--
we ate even the dust on our fingers.