Nowhere, South Dakota – Andrew Kruse-Ross

Inside the laundromat I concede
the world has not ended as I thought it would.
In fact, it hasn’t ended at all. Game shows
air on the television.
The cameras pan and zoom,
the arms flail. A rocket sets the deck
of a ship aglow. Floured arms
pull a limp boy from the rubble.

Things go on much as they have,
but I’ve finally done it, moved west.
Montana. Wyoming.
Nowhere, South Dakota.
No more making a life upon a length
of stretched wire.
No more foraging inside
the mouth of a shark.

Whatever I’m to be remembered for
is where I left it. I make no history but to tally
the sunsets from a lawn chair. Every night
one more added to a forgotten sum. The dogs
scent birds in the places I no longer mow. Their
tails untrimmed, bobbing white flags in the tall grass
collecting seeds. I brush away the burrs
at night the way I know you’d have me to.

Cardboard signs announced the sale
of our things. Piece by piece carried away
leaving little to pack: the Olivetti
the tea kettle. The afghan, my mother’s.
Some clothes. The baby spoon, your father’s.
I’m learning to sleep in the silence here, to live
far from the clock face, to know the birds
at the feeder. Who will feed the dogs when I am gone?

Andrew Kruse-RossAndrew Kruse-Ross is a writer and editor living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and a graduate of the University of Michigan-Flint. His recent work appears in The New Engagement.