Stan Sanvel Rubin

The Address
Sometimes the passbook of my soul is out of date
or overdrawn, like an account gone irreparably in the red.
We both love language, so you will understand
what I mean by this. If you don’t, I pity you
with the kind of abstract pity we call love of humankind,
the way even a mean pup is pitied when it runs in front
of a car that’s edging down the street slowly by the curb,
streaming a song from a satellite way too loud, alarming
people, but not trying to do harm, it’s just a car in the neighborhood
where someone’s ex lives, trying to find something
he can’t find, her new address, a reason, maybe
check out who lives there now, as if that matters,
so the guy behind the wheel doesn’t see the small animal,
lost in his revery, and hits it, though he loves dogs,
and breaks both its hind legs. The dog is lucky to be alive.
Somebody loves it despite its propensity to bite.
Somebody’s calling its name, waiting for it to come home.

Nine Days

The time-lapse decomposition
of the deer on the side of the highway
shows flesh dissolve in one week like water

as maggots in broad daylight strip
the pretty corpse to bone.
Two days more and even bone

is gone, carried away at night,
held carefully in the jaws of predators
as if each fragment is a charm.

There are ways of living
in the world without imagining
it is a different world.