Dan Pinkerton

You Can’t Have Days of Thunder Forever

We would end our puppetry in an orgy of triumphalism,
arm hairs kinked with sweat as we stripped off tube socks
painted in the bare-bones kabuki fashion.

You make it sound, ex post facto, as though
the mongrel hordes had it better under Genghis Khan
but I submit that it’s unorthodox to live one’s life

without sliding a sock puppet up to the elbow
and riffing some inspired thespian improv
as not seen since a Strasberg seminar.

The video store called, Noreen: they want their movies back.
You can’t have Days of Thunder forever.
We recur in the Walgreens of our devising.

You’re getting your birth control prescription refilled
while your new boyfriend holds up dental flosses for comparison.
The sneer attached to his face makes me want to electrocute an elephant.

Three aisles distant I am price gunning
all the items—tomato paste, hair tonic, relationships—
that have surely outlived their utility.

Dan Pinkerton lives in Des Moines, Iowa. His poems and stories have appeared in Boston Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, Crazyhorse, Washington Square, and the 2008 Best New American Voices anthology, among others. This is the year he is going to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Maybe.
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