Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Dreaming in Red from Right Hand Pointing and the forthcoming Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He is editor of twenty20 journal and co-publisher of White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely and co-editor of cur-ren-cy with Wisely and F. John Sharp.
THE RAINDROP EFFECT
I stare down at the clouds in the puddle. I’m thinking it’s easier to buy a gun around here than find a job. Darlene says her name means “little darling.” A cold gray light falls across her face, the last task of evening. I can’t remember what I did when this happened before. Mine must mean something, too, I say. The trees shake their shaggy heads as if they disagree. I’m glad a canine can be a dog or tooth. I’m hoping it’s whichever I say it is.
It’s impossible to see the scoreboard from where I sit. I must strain to even see some of the field. The crowd waits in a kind of trance for the starting lineups to be announced. I wait for a vendor to toil up the steep concrete steps, shouting, Cold beer here, a tray strapped like a homemade bomb to his chest. The man in the seat in front of me abruptly turns around, his expression faded & bleak. Why’s the past so hard to lift? he asks. I stare off into the distance, pretend he isn’t talking to me. A column of black smoke rises beyond the right field wall. I try to remember who we’re playing. I try to
remember which dream this is.