Isolate 

 

by Susan Grimm

 

 

Because we are not tuned in. Because we navigate the world like a plank of pine. Our 

face a mask of cheese slabbed on in unspeakable thicknesses.

 

 

No plain speak. We can do that at the library or grocery store. Plastic, please (though we 

know that’s wrong).

 

 

Meaning is danger. Meaning trips at your heels like a dander-laden dog. The coyote that 

slinks down the beach, a scavenging fraud.

 

 

With one eye, I can see—heart like a coal. Your head in the clouds crusty with persistent 

snow. Oxygen-deprived. The party you have reached is not a working Sherpa.

 

 

Spread-eagled on the beach. No reception. Stuffing the Rorschached towels out of sight. 

The body’s damp declivities imprinting a truth that must be dried out.

 

 

Like a fallout shelter. Let’s snug in the door and embrace the phalanx of cans. Monstrous. 

In the city of giants only two words left. Oh, the air outside. Winds tracing and mocking.