So we meet again but outside the northeast
corridor. By your grandmother’s watch, the institutions
here have been slow to take hold. This pillar of Midwestern
virtue not yet sunk to the bedrock & what a delightful lilt we
must seem to have. We all lost the names of the boats which
brought us here & those not brought here by boat have gone
into hiding, but here we meet! west of Appalachia & east of
the Mighty. No transfers responsible for such happy happen-
stance—each conversation is one with a converse & no end in
sight. That makes about as much sense as how we meet, how
anything begins. But like those magic eye pictures, I can make
you out through the static.
Seeing is believing,
Your permanent record out in force, canvassing
the Midwestern night sky. You track the constellations. I wait
for you to manifest, take human form, or become Shiva the
Destroyer. See to our deliverance. Your slate expression waits
for the chiseling away toward definition. You banish yourself,
hiding within temples, hoping to outlast the monsoon season.
But the floods have your number. Consult the I Ching, draw
from the tarot—the fates will not break rank. Our scent finds
the sharks. Take the rope when it falls. Someone on the other
end will pull you out. I’ll stay back to make sure nothing & no
Ryan Collins is the author of a chapbook, Complicated Weather (Rock Town Press) & an e-chapbook, Handshake Trouble (Gold Wake Press). Some of his recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Leveler, Spittoon, Ping Pong, Knock, H_NGM_N, Diagram & Handsome. He lives in the Illinois Quad Cities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.