Take Out Insurance on Your Pickle Jars

Written By: Shane Eaves

The weatherman is prognosticating.

My neighbors are arguing like two deflating balloons

 

or like a brick on my back porch, with a tidal shaped

cleft in its jaw, which seems

impossibly frail.

 

I walk across it on my way to the dried up bird

bath, recalling how bricks are formed—sloppy red

 

hearts in rectangular presses. Somewhere inside I think

a pickle jar is waiting to crash, I can hear its Tchaikovskian

 

explosion against the floor, and like a raindrop I want

to piece it back together. In my mind is a photograph

 

of two bodies walking beside a railroad track

during the Dust Bowl. They carry guitars

 

or suitcases, or maybe each other, and above them

a sign states Next Time Try The Train

Relax!

 

The man reclining and the high-backed chair like a svelte

headstone remind you how crooked your garden grew last year,

 

how very right the weatherman was—pickles today

and pickles tomorrow, isn’t that the news

 

papered behind every billboard?

Shane Eaves received his M.F.A. in poetry from California State University Long Beach, where he served as the poetry editor for Riprap. He is a two time recipient of the William T. Shadden Memorial Award for his poetry. His poetry can be found in The American Mustard Collective, Riprap, Bird’s Thumb, Rust + Moth, and the upcoming issue of Miramar, as well as having been displayed at Soapbox and Fusion—two multi-media, cross genre art shows.