at the first sign of rain
i went outside into our tiny square
of a backyard, took the fishing rod.
(the one we used twice a year) (if
we were lucky). (from the wall of the garage)
(the line still tangled all around everything).
i put the spare hooks
through my lip (you wouldn’t approve)
i know, that’s why i did it.
(also) it’s a convenient place to hold them.
with me, i took some assorted Tupperware.
of course, none of the lids matched,
some dull-red & some blue. a circle
a circle a square, a round square.
as deep as a bath tub (as shallow).
we went fighting in the lazy Susanne.
you are good at organizational systems.
i am good at chaos & standing outside unafraid
to be struck by lightning.
(that’s the only way you’d ever be able
to catch it). (a ripe bolt). (as blue
as they come). i wanted to find one
for you, keep it in the freezer
behind the ice cube trays. (for when you maybe
come visit me). (stay still).
will you eat it with a fork (plastic?).
did you know that sometimes
electricity in our blood
can make us forget words? (what words?).
(daughter & father & yard & rod &
rod & lid). hand me the lid.
(which one?). the red-blue-green.
i’m not fishing. these hooks are
for aesthetics. there must be
one with a lid that matches its body.
(one that’s deep enough). does your
father know you’re here? (probably not).
i would call him but then he’d ask
about how the thunder smells
& i would have to lie & say
that it smells like cream soda.
snapped the top on. this one (right here)
is for you. i waited three hours
for it in the rain. my fingers
went prune. the yard grew weary
of me (the yard hundreds of miles
away from yours). i’m saving this
for you so that you’ll remember
that time we sat in the garage.
you took the fish hooks out (gentle).
the blood trickled. the lightning
so sweet. licorice & mango:
a seed smacking the soil.
(our soil). i’m saving it. (for you).
Robin Gow’s poetry has recently been published in Poetry, The Gateway Review, Prairie Margins, and Corbel Stone Press. He is an adjunct professor at Adelphi University. He is the director of the nonprofit he founded, Transcendent Connections. He is an out and proud bisexual transgender man passionate about LGBT issues.