"Man of Constant Mailboxes" - David Noah


"Man of Constant Mailboxes" - David Noah:

so this guy, swerving,
smashed his pickup into our mailbox
splintering its post,

and ran himself to ground in the ditch by the road

he came out talking so fast
no calamity would ever catch him again
if he talked that fast
if he just explained to someone
that he’d once been in a coma for forty-eight days
because they thought it was a stone
but his appendix had burst
and he lifted up his red t-shirt to show me the belly band
he wore because his stomach muscles
had been whacked by the blast
except this one, he said
touching a small spot on his side

but it was his daughter who worried him right now
the one who was the first West Nile virus victim in this state
—this said with a wry proud smile—
and now she’s in the hospital, where he was going,
because his other daughter had died in December, 1997,
and I’m blessed to have this one, I know that,

but his mother was home and dumb with dementia
though he took his dad out golfing once a week
even though his own wrist had three broken bones
and there was constant pain in his own right leg

what kind of post you want to replace this one, he asked
I got a bunch with different colored stains
light, dark, oak, whatever you want
get it back here tomorrow
what time does your mail run

but I knew he was asking someone else
to tell him when the final mailbox
was going to leap right in front of his goddamned truck

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