Friday, June 8, 2012

Rodney Nelson

And You Could Have 

if you had died at twenty-six that night
             in a beer ad
it would have happened in
San Mateo
                      if you had died that day
it would have been in a toothpaste ad at
an eatery
             the parking lot
                      the car
that hit you and the motor scooter you
were on would have been the same
             either way
and you would have seemed to dive right into
a palm tree
                      you might have been the rider
or riding with
             the friend might have been John
or Sandra of half-Greek half-Swedish looks
trying to follow you into the air
                      whichever the time and ad
             either way
but you see only you
                      a green sport coat
out of motion at the palm's foot
             too young
and smug to have gone at it with your head
and wait in sun- or floodlight quite like that
at twenty-six
                      your grin becoming wrong
when they take and heft you but the ad shoot
would have been inside of the eatery
             the crew would have heard
                      not seen
you out in time and what you look at now
are the dive and the hit and the tableau
at the foot of a tree
                    San Mateo
with every color and no sound track


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