From WTP Vol. VII #4
By Michael Hettich
how to respond when the checkout woman
tells me her son has been sick since he ate
the crackers I’m buying, holds the box up
and scowls, claiming his grades have slipped too
and he’s started to listen to ugly music,
you know? And I want to tell her I do,
then venture a similarly intimate tidbit:
I wake up some nights to walk through our house
speaking to the mirrors as though they might make me
younger—but that would be mostly untrue,
and besides, the express line is long, so I just
take my receipt and head out as I hear her
telling the shopper behind me her cat
was poisoned by the food he is buying.
—And then I’m outside, standing in a summer
downpour, mounting my bike and riding,
dismayed and joyous at the sudden exuberance
of a storm that will flood all the streets and darken
the afternoon; commuters heading home
will squint and lean close to their windshields, cursing
the rain, which will taste delicious as it runs
down my face from my water-blinded eyes.
Read more of Michael Hettich’s poetry in WTP Vol. VII #4.
Michael Hettich has published over a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently Bluer And More Vast: Prose Poems, which was published by Hysterical Books in Summer 2018. Other recent books include The Frozen Harbor (2017), which won the David Martinson/Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press, as well as a Florida Book Award; and Systems Of Vanishing (2014), which won the Tampa Review Prize. A new book, To Start An Orchard, is forthcoming from Press 53. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Orion, The Sun, and Poetry East. He recently moved from Miami to Black Mountain, NC.