Just Outside the Gate to Hell
The police impound your car.
It doesn’t run, it wouldn’t smog.
But it’s all you’ve got, with your
two umbrellas and three worn
winter coats, a flashlight and
plastic grocery bags of
odds ‘n ends, a change of work-
clothes in the trunk.
It doesn’t matter.
City Hall won’t save you.
It’s Saturday, they’re closed.
Nowhere to go but
Not the richest
ankle-length mink could warm
you in Charon’s boat
as the familiar
fogs rise off dead waters.
It doesn’t matter,
you haven’t got the fare.
is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, who also helps her husband
(a retired wildlife biologist) with his field projects. Her poems have appeared in International Poetry Review, The Iowa
Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International,
and elsewhere, and have been included in the anthology, California
Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present
(Santa Clara University, 2004). Her manuscript, The Downstairs Dance Floor,
is winner of the 2005 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press.