Kmart Realism

I look at the sky and I say
you can have it —

Bet they don’t even bother to look down on us
from their window seats: big rig

jackknifed in Missouri, wife too busy
to welcome me back to Kentucky, some old war

by the Tennessee River. And mom-in-law
disapproves. Weed

may be illegal but no one anymore
wants my pee in a cup

so why not? I’d build a house
with bare hands if my wife weren’t already taking

night classes. She never leaves
a dirty spoon, barely dents her pillow, like someone

good at being alone. That hurts me.
Like I’m home on my own recognizance

— like I’m parked here. Coffee-stained blueprints
in the needlepoint drawer.

A. Loudermilk is a poet and educator living in Baltimore. His collection, Strange Valentine, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2005. His recent work can be found in Pool, Salamander, Margie, Linebreak, Smartish Pace, and Tin House, among other journals.