next to the one mailbox in 87 miles
between Clayton and Springer, New Mexico.
Forgive me, Mrs. Rancher,
there was no party,
no rendezvous with the mister,
just a curved caliche trail off the highway
which I gave great thanks for.
Commander’s Palace, New Orleans,
the tiny trashcan overflowing.
I left them folded and balanced on top
like a floral hanky.
The demo show-house in Coppell, Texas
with no trashcan at all –
the 4-3-3 with real wood floors;
overpowering the welcoming scent
of chocolate chip cookies
baking in the state of the art
stainless convection oven.
Beneath the snowdrift blockers in Colorado,
the bright pink Secrets of Victoria well known
once the Spring thaw arrived.
There must be a mathematical equation
for the number of inches removed from a colon
and the number of panties abandoned
at inopportune occasions.
Perhaps the Smithsonian carefully gathered
the once white-laced specimen
from the 2nd floor Powder Room,
hands gloved and gentle during DNA harvesting.
Perhaps it now rests in the “Lagniappe” section
in the lab basement;
the scientist smiling time to time
when he thinks about that box –
the way he labeled it