THE FUTURE AS WE PLANNED IT
Don’t blow the tube larger than it
needs to be, she warned, but I was
in no mood for warnings
and so I blew the tube far larger
than was necessary. And that was
the least of my flubs. I fucked
up the stuff in the cupboard, too.
In those days I was a mess.
But when she arrived with the code,
the dictation, and the system,
I wasn’t prepared at all. I remember
standing in the doorway, in my plastic
suit, pulling the hood over my ears,
fixing my eyes on the corner.
In the wide open, everyone could
sense the future. I had doubts, but
told no one. The warnings continued
and by spring, most of us were
weaving through the fields
and aluminum bleachers.
The rose that no one wanted to grow
began blooming by the school.
The nun that no one wanted to hear
began growling in the choir.
When the winter was thinking of
pulling off autumn’s skirt, the bad boy
inside of me gave way. I no longer
listened when the voice started.
In a way, I was oblivious. In another
way, I was a murderer whose
crimes just hadn’t happened yet.
—from Rattle #53, Fall 2016
Peter Davis: “I live in Muncie, Indiana, where I write, draw, and make music largely because I can’t think of a better way to use my time. I raise my kids and I teach. I try to stay healthy and be good to my wife. It’s not always easy, but writing now and again makes it better.” (website)