"How fine it feels, the perversity of freedom."
It's real fine at first,
sprawled out and floating on your River Rover in the neighborhood pool,
shrugging off that picket-fence worry,
Tuesday at noon, cold beer in your hand.
Even when the morbidly obese
third-graders, pink-bellied from summer vacation, spill
into the water and some gets in your Pabst,
a little chlorine never killed anyone,
and that sun's still high like a corolla
above the tulip tree.
And you're in a pool,
smiling like the grill
on a Cadillac coasting through a new moon
Arizona desert, headlights off,
no one ahead or behind you,
having pulled off the Great American Swindle
six borders back.
because you can almost see all those suckers hard
at work, pale and hunched over desks
like phantoms in a cellar,
working that nine to five form,
trying to dress like the boss,
but their suits are worn,
and you're wearing whatever the hell you want,
and you're going to do all those things you've always wanted to do.
But weeks from now, still free
because the line of people who enjoy the perversity of freedom
is longer than you had originally calculated,
you find yourself walking home from that same neighborhood pool,
leaves collecting around its lip like a rash,
the moon a little, white, round thing
above the thinning branches of a tree you can't name,
and while trying to cross Route 424,
flip-flop deep in empty cans of Cheever's beer and blowout patches,
shivering because some asshole stole your shirt,
you wilt in the endless line of headlights,
the steady flow of evening traffic, sleek sedans,
their consoles warm and glowing, sprung like floodtide,
to houses lit electric by the hours.