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          Learning
          By John Jeffrey

          Rolling into the driveway, I slow the car
          to a standstill in front of the garage door
          when--even though I've stopped--the motion
          detector clicks and light spills like milk over the car.

          I shut off the wipers, the headlights, the air-
          conditioning, the fans, the radio, the cell phone,
          and then the engine. With the engine dies
          the muffler's angry mutterings. Another hole.

          After a few minutes of stillness, the light above
          the garage ticks off. It's dark now, and silent
          but for the soothing soft-shoe on the roof; even falling
          from such height the rain has a gentleness.

          Should I, too heavy for a cloud, be dropped
          from the sky I would make a more demanding rain:
          Blood-vivid, intense as a scream, I would destroy
          whatever came between me and the destiny of that fall.

          But the rain gives to me a sense of sequestration,
          one hundred and seven cubic feet of untouched interior.
          I won't go into the house yet, not yet to the television,
          the phones, the answering machine, the computer--

          networked to the office like a vein--the ominous
          tick-ticking behind the refrigerator, the blown hall light,
          the broken washing machine, the wasted mattress,
          and the mildew-rotting basement, probably flooding

          as I study rainwater meandering down the windshield,
          now left, now right, now pausing to wait for another
          then together continuing. Some, mid-flow, just stop.
          Others never begin. I watch the water. I am learning.

          I am a dangerous man.




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Document last modified on: 09/25/2005

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