Solace at the P.O.
By Sandy Longley
So, it's my turn and I place an envelope
on the counter. The clerk asks:
"Does this package contain any hazardous liquid?"
Only a thousand tears, I reply.
"Is there anything flammable or breakable?"
Just my heart, I say.
"Would you like this sent express mail
for an additional $7.50?"
Actually, I'd prefer a slow delivery,
maybe in a canvas saddlebag, on a
dappled mare, rambling through mountains,
through valleys lush and deep, pausing
for long drinks in stony creeks.
"How about insurance?"
We both know there's no insurance,
no deductible, for matters like this;
I know what I have given,
what I have received.
He glances at the customer line lengthening—
impatience spreading like a virus.
I want him to close his window and ask me
to meet him out back. He'll be wearing cowboy
boots and smell like fresh cut locust burl.
He'll drape his tattooed arm (wild boar)
around me, offer a cigarette and say
"A dog walks into a bar..."
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