“Quickly Aging Here,” a poem by Denis Johnson

“Quickly Aging Here,” a poem by Denis Johnson—

1
nothing to drink in
the refrigerator but juice from
the pickles come back
long dead, or thin
catsup. i feel i am old
now, though surely i
am young enough? i feel that i have had
winters, too many heaped cold
and dry as reptiles into my slack skin.
i am not the kind to win
and win.
no i am not that kind, i can hear
my wife yelling, “goddamnit, quit
running over,” talking to
the stove, yelling, “i
mean it, just stop,” and i am old and
2
i wonder about everything: birds
clamber south, your car
kaputs in a blazing, dusty
nowhere, things happen, and constantly you
wish for your slight home, for
your wife’s rusted
voice slamming around the kitchen. so few
of us wonder why
we crowded, as strange,
monstrous bodies, blindly into one
another till the bed
choked, and our range
of impossible maneuvers was gone,
but isn’t it because by dissolving like so
much dust into the sheets we are crowding
south, into the kitchen, into
nowhere?
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