Six Weeks and Change Into the Distance

Six Weeks and Change Into the Distance

Dodger presses his nose close to leaves of grass.
They burst, finite shafts of light, like an earthbound emerald star
Birthed from daily coitus among urine, soil, water, and sun.

Two parallel lines of tar hem in a strip of asphalt
fourteen shoe lengths wide and three shoe lengths deep.
Three inches between steps.
The lot has been cracked by countless tires and weather changes.
At its southern and northern edges, pools drown the grass.
The gray sky ripples on the mirror.

In the neighborhood where houses sell for $410,000,
We cross a street. It is an offensive mosaic in its
Inoffensive agglomeration of pinky nails, broken dice and asphalt.
The seasons gnawed out a sidewalk’s joint
At the t-shaped intersection of Developer’s Everywhere
and Have No Imagination. Here stand
The officially approved trees to man the walls of America’s right-of-way,
Prepared to bore all, especially the birds who prefer the tangles down by the creek.

A bare film of algae stains the sidewalk’s edges by Dodger’s and my feet.
I suppose the homeowner’s association believes in its sacred right
To use a power washer to scour it away, send it to the bay
With energy they’ve borrowed from the ancients.
Today, April rains feed the faded kelly colony.

Dodger hunches his back and squats, trembles slightly, a furry sine wave.
There is a meter to his excretory process.
His turds are a marbled blend of clay and slightly graying fudge,
A puttied version of rye bread that stinks like bad coffee grounds.


During COVID-19, I am writing poems about my experience of distance—near or far—from/with one myself, from/with other people, and from/with the web of life.

About the Artist

Peter Buck,  Centre County
Published:  April 29, 2020