I had wanted to say I love America
But what came to mind was shut up
In a private world
I wondered which century
How if pain is said to “refer”
To write without hurt
How if I had no idea
To love without ideas
I think the season should change
me walking there, me leaving the house,
me collecting my keys. This is Ruthie’s camo vest,
red leaves along the driveway, glass from a window
somebody broke. This is Beachwalk, a dune
turned vacation community. The leaves redden.
A squirrel with its neck open. Ruthie pees
beneath a bush nearby. This is Reunion,
Reunion Guest, a TV on inside.
Snow falls lightly where renters rode
golf carts laden with floating things.
Had there been nature, which developers,
who are nature, made more nature of,
there would have been something untouched
by the dollar. Phoebe Bridgers
can’t get into her house. Peter Walker
unloads his trunk again, jawline visible
from here. My midriff walks by him.
Ruthie strains against the leash
to reach the cats, black and tawny,
Reunion’s owner’s father feeds
out of the garage, meowing loudly
from places you can’t see, calico and tabby
cats that stalk Ruthie. This is Power Lane.
A house with sculptures: Perfect Shot.
At night, rounding the pond, one
looks like a person. I always think it’s someone
come to watch the deer graze. Sunshine Inn.
The Movin’ Inn. People rent or owners
come back, their cars outside
Sandy Feet. I can see my breath, a silver
BMW X3. The Cape Codder. Chery Bomb.
Beach Dream. Houses with puns: Notre Dune,
Brigadune. With references: As You Wish,
Serenity NOW. With antique chairs,
curved white wood, twinkle lights, firepits,
lace curtains, linen curtains, a clock inside
pink neon. Jester has a new owner.
Men paint it. Aquamarine Dream.
And across Lake Kai, Whisper Dunes,
where the biggest house is finished,
lit like a marquee. We’re rounding the bend
on Beachwalk Lane, kayakers out, the lake
fringed in poison ivy, more houses, some
without names. Kokomo. Señor Mariposa
and another, Duneland Dream. Kayak
and Paddleboard Sign Up Activity Center.
It’s not closed, just not open. The lake
is frozen. You think you’re getting a window
into the life of a family: My 3 Girls. Catching Some Rays.
The Sand Trap. My fear is that nothing will happen,
license plates familiar as home hemisphere
constellations: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan.