Repurposed Silverware

There are forks and knives
in the microwave
of the sky—
flashing heat
above Sylvan Lanes
at 2 a.m.

A kid in pretend-adulthood
has thrown silverware into the
gigantic microwave above the Mobile station
where I am walking for cigarettes
out from my father's house

where the bats
and the robins are flashing
as one.

The muggiest early-summer storm is
tantruming in adolescent pre-cum
above my life.

Everything wet
and dry flashing
as one.

There are childhood zits
on adult stomachs
where the skin is too taut
and thickened there now
to release any achy pressure.

There are dripping multiplicities
of drinking coffee at the same time
as urinating simultaneous
to a rain determined to get going
outside the bathrooms of gas-stations
retrofitted into buildings
exactly the same as the rest of the
one-story houses around here
my mother is never
not on the phone with customer service

T like in Tom
D as in dog.
No—E as in ELEPHANT.

Where I love-hate hangers facing
opposite directions or
the staticky cackle
of a cell phone sitting inanimately
too near a computer speaker
or clock radio.

But tonight I am through watching every episode
of Cheers
and fetishizing 80s sweater-vest-Boston.

Sam and Cliff were good pals
but my dad doesn't even lie on the couch
with me like he used to, for me
to peak over his body before bedtime

tonight I am walking out
from his house
to the Mobil Station
where the menacing wind
is a heavy smoker
in tropical clothing.

I wonder if going out in this
was such a sharp idea after all
and that danger is exciting
and the pleasure becomes all mine—
to meet myself as a child
who has thrown some silverware
into the microwave
of the sky.

The wind of the world
will smoke your cigarette for you
if you let him—
dressed like a let-loose dad
in non-indigenous palm prints and khaki shorts.

The Little Caesars playhouse where I
had a birthday
is now a carpet store retrofitted
into the unchanged

I have been gladly repurposed too—
a window display chamber of childhood
guitar lessons
filled now with computer repair parts and
surveillance equipment
that records me
sharing a cigarette with a
flashing night.

I'd be OK writing about wet parking lots
and municipal bike trails

and the way they sleep blackly comatose
in the sputtering of
an early-summer storm
that can't quite get going
and just wants to play

but there's more to it than that—
I suppose.

With $135 cash in my jeans
from selling widowed chairs
from my great-aunt's basement
I pass the mannequin guards of my
lights-out optometrist
and a boulder in the sidewalk grass
the shape of a curled-up

With a zit on my stomach
and sharp silverware in all of my pockets
I flash through each window pane
on the houses and strip-malls around here—
looking for sneaky
thieving action.

With something sweetly rank
and washed fresh and fragrant
by a pre-cum drizzle
with cigarette scabs
in my adult nostrils

I pass my local Dairy Queen
immortalized in chapters 2 through 5
of my failed novel

and in passing it
I pass also a baggy sagging boy a bit younger—
also stuffed with butter knives and
wet-sky sparklers smuggled from out-of-state
for the coming 4th

Past the boat-storage backstreets
of Keego Harbor
nativity scene magi
escaping lopsided from ajar
tool-sheds spook me
like the bats and the robins
that cannot detect their own kin
in the flashing.

And looping home
through the whiteness
flashing in blackness of holy
Sylvan Lake I am blinded by the cop-car spotlight
where the microwave has been opened
in the pitch-black kitchen of
the world.

There has been a "B & E" somewhere in this
kingdom of trespasses
and I am the only one on these streets
at this hour
at this age
in this storm that can't get going.

I am just a writer
with obnoxious fluorescent shoelaces
and a dead-end chapter 6
and scabs in my adult nostrils—
out for a walk
while my father sleeps
I say.

And in patting my ankles
as I palm the unblemished belly that is
the smoothness of his cop-car
he asks if he'll come across anything sharp
that could possibly prick him

and I say there's maybe some salad forks
or the little ones for shrimp cocktail
and that maybe the burglar was the boy I passed—
making a getaway under a timid
flashing sky.