August Errant

Rob Schlegel

I boat to Flo’s for tea. Half the house
Takes on water, other half’s
Asleep. Stovetop’s brothing
Ned the Hen Flo raised
From a chick. Bagging thighs,
Flo says, “Let’s picnic.” I motor the boat
Around the island’s floating

Suitcases. Tossing dead Legos
Into the sound, Flo says
She cut herself cutting Ned.
Three pills deep in Ritz she was rapt
Listening to ‘History.’ After lunch,
Kellis Sotheby greets us
With a request to auction Flo’s

Capezios. “Fins of whales foreshow
That water exists, not these
Lives we long to change,”
Flo says. Then she falls asleep.
In the room whose walls
Are a Technicolor Dreamcoat
Jacob Hashimoto sewed

High on lentils and Red Bull
Kellis turns my head to kiss. “If it’s all
The same,” I say, “I’m nothing
But this Mary face.” Mistaking
Refusal for consent, Kellis opens his
Pants onto which I puke a little
Hen. On my way out he hands me

A souvenir lighter. “The day will come,”
He says, “when your enemies
Will crush you to the ground, you,
And the children within you.”
I boat across the sound. The mountains
Move around me. At home I strip
My clothes, lean down to torch

The pile. The lighter’s made of
Lego. Flo finds me tied to a plastic
Tree in the Wal-Mart, my eyes
Glazed, my sagging jaw.
She carries me to the orange grove,
Its perfume mingling with
The myrtles in blow. I wake

On the hour. No idea where I am,
Which year of my life. Am I really who
Flo says and not the irregular
Triangle of sheep flocking
Uphill? Flo kills fish in such a way
There grows in me a song I am
Enlivened by, enough to eat the skin

On my plate. Whales breach
In the sound. How they grow with
Toil! My mind is almost mine
Again. I think I should do something—
Help Flo cover the boat before
Dark—but I just sit there, watching
Rain turn the sound into stone.