Melinda, things I used to know 

537

Melinda red blood in the white snow
the curtains are dying
…and the things I used to know
she drinks before noon
wild black tequila,
her only chance to make it through summer
her daddy’s at the bottom of the bottle
and I don’t know if I should get her there
and I could fold her napkin
I could wipe her brow
nobody’s speaking
because summer is almost over now
and she’s going to gun it down
I don’t have anything to say, let’s start with that
her sunglasses back and forth across the dashboard
she’s wondering if anyone even wants to figure her out
a bridge before Canada and the rear view mirror begins to pout
I have a bag of pipe tobacco and a pile of firewood by the door
it’s autumn
and the burnt sienna grass
is saying midnight mass
she says calling it fall
is calling it crass
and winter is waiting
because autumn
lives not to last
Melinda, vinegar bottles by the stove
and hands through her sawdust hair
the floodlights against the snow
are dark on the other side
of the things I used to know