Just Before Labor Day

I don’t know what I need to do next
apart from work and not
fall down the stairs again, apart from
visit the dentist and get into an exercise routine
and not grow gingivitis plaque inside my brain
(if it’s not too late).
Certain things take root while you’re paying attention
to other things, such as envy of the over-the-fence neighbor
perpetually sitting outside with citronella tiki torches,
friends and family, companionable laughter
until you want to punch every last one of them,
even the dog, or maybe the dog most of all.
That’s where you are now; that’s the shape of
things to come, apparently — thinking about your gums
and dementia, punching the neighbor’s dog
(and children), knocking over the tiki torches
until the yard is ablaze, though still mosquito-free,
dodging everything you’re supposed to do
before discoing into the void.

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