I want to out-run the clock, look up from my book, see
there’s 10 minutes to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweater,
grab car keys from the dining room table and swing the laptop
over my shoulder. Hi-ho I keep on going.
This morning I had two cups of coffee, watched the news,
spoke with my boyfriend from six states away and finished reading
the newspaper. Time to tap dance on the kitchen tile,
unscrew energy efficient lightbulbs and note what kind of hybrid bird
flies out before I grab the laptop.
Inside the car like an otter beneath a hood of water watching
the sky pull itself into threads of orange taffy, my mind backstrokes
to Chicago and the punch press factory
where I met Johnnie with mahogany skin and straightened hair
and Eola from New Orleans who said:
Life's like powder on a powder puff, just ready to blow off,
when a lugging machine punched a hole through my finger
and the foreman delivered me to the hospital where I spent the evening
filling out worker's compensation forms and didn’t make my quota;
something about the thinness of the sky today,
how an airplane balances on a diagonal wire of exhaust,
or the way Chow Yun Fat did in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,
walking on tree tops, which is a good trick if you know how to do it.