Journal of Writing & Environment

Someone should tell the white woman

on this glossy cover fall is months

away—today’s shadeless high

is 96°F without a Weather Channel suit

factoring the heat index which

defined around these parts is oozy

halos of sweat bleeding at the pits.

I never knew a blonde who donned

an ascot with an olive blazer

sitting on the platonic ideal

of a hay bale, bushels of Winesaps

at her feet in a pickup’s bed, but then

I never dated much. This catalog’s

mossy peaks are North Pacific,

your Elysian terrain that bikers

sleeved in flaming skull tattoos call

God’s country as they pack a pack

of Marlboros against their palms

before crinkling off the plastic

film, sucking down a lung-full

to punctuate their redemption

of a trite travelogue cliché.

What I know of God starts and stops

with the body heat that makes

a cube puddle down my neck.

Who knows why the juggernaut

mountains were made so sheer

your friend would need an arsenal

to climb them, and when both ropes

slackened on his body harness

no poet no rock no vireo

could know the awful rush

of his fall. I cram this in margins

while a coast away your clan

grieves under clouds so baleful

my ebullient high-def doofus titters

you’ll never know the sun again.

He’s as real as the ivory gleam

on this cover model’s teeth cast wide

in a practiced laugh one could call

pornographic. I’m tearing her face

in half. The sky without

her contrapposto pose is blinding

and according to the writing

across catalog cumulus this offer

for free shipping available now

on all our Christmas orders

is guaranteed to last.