Jake Sheff: “We Install a Sump Pump on (What Used To Be) a Holiday (Take 8)”

We Install a Sump Pump on (What Used To Be) a Holiday (Take 8)

It’s good to be home, son. This storm must be
Re-examining its assumptions, or giving us
The silent treatment. Let’s put on London Calling,
After this Tchaikovsky number. Try to put your
Body into it a little more, like you’re contending
With a vortex full of ancient and angelic thoughts!

Screw that in tighter; make a seal. I read a lot
Of H.G. Wells in prison, thought a lot about fox-
Gloves at Fort Stevens in the needy months of
Rain. Camping? If your mother’s permission slips
On a banana peel. First, we better persuade this
Crazy sump pump to at least pretend it’s not

Insane. The warden looked like the spectacled
Eiders we used to see up north. In this weather,
My hands conceive better than they combine. Work
Tastes like the salmonberries at Oxbow Park,
When the shotgun shells and fabric softener above
The vortex are mine. I’m dumber than a rifled slug.

Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and US Air Force veteran. He’s published a full-length collection of formal poetry, A Kiss to Betray the Universe (White Violet Press), along with two chapbooks: Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing) and The Rites of Tires (SurVision).

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