And then the summer night was straw,
all gathered together and the light
could not get through. I thought
of someone, I was always thinking
of someone that summer. Would he
come to see me, with deer antlers
held above his head and torn belt-loops
on his jeans?
Maybe it was not a person that I loved,
but the roll of a canoe and lapping waves,
a hound dog’s tongue. The burst of pink
between teeth, fireweed by the lakeshore.
And there was always something that could
not be found, a paddle or a shoe or wrench.
So the house stayed in a state of construction,
as though taxes would not have to be paid
unless it had a real door, windows.
Rain shook tarpaper; I piled soft cover
novels under my bed and smelled them,
curious and terrified, as if their mustiness
was something that could spread to me,
as though I would become damp
and suffocated like a long day inside,
with the storm washing the windows.
About time, my mother saying, about time.