Twenty years in this queendom where we made angels

in the magnolia’s rotten blossoms, floated toward


   peace in the lap pool before the idea of a rover

spelled hello on Mars among all those disappeared


   arroyos, each hope another coin in the slot

between knuckles vanishing. We never bothered


   to pick the thyme this year, left bags of mulch

and river rock to fester over the pine stump,


   its lightning-struck ghost-flume of green needles

and keening birdsong. Now, rainless months.


    Interstate brushfires. The water smells of chlorine.

You add more compounds to your daily dosing,


   acquire a new laugh and a shrinking left eye.

   Your voice darkens as contrails splay their dreams


across the sky. Agoraphobia keeps you inside

    while I hoist a thumb to blot out the sun.


Todd Robinson


Todd Robinson is the author of Mass for Shut-Ins (Backwaters, 2018). His work has recently appeared in The Adroit Journal, South Dakota Review, and Notre Dame Review. He is an Assistant Professor in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and caregiver to his partner, a disabled physician.