I will grip the wheel,
corner to corner,
hope he smiles.

Dig this hole,
stir the primer,
open this sash.

His eyes scurry at seventy
four, still climbing roofs
to check the tar.

We load the truck
and scramble to the next
house, checking furnaces.

His arm in an L,
painkillers in the afternoon,
I sleep to the July game crackle

and wake to the novelty
of my parents' parents,
any escape will do.


Three weeks of this though
and I'm back to

a coil in the brush,
pocketed behind each
action and reaction.

When will I be?
When can I find this
fleeting steadiness
without imposition?

Leave me alone.
Leave me alone.

One month and then
the openness, the void
of horizon.

           Nathan Leslie
NATHAN LESLIE has had fiction and poetry appear in over thirty publications including Amherst Review, Wascana Review, Poetry Motel, Connections, The Crab Creek Review, The Higginsville Reader, Fodderwing, The Sulphur River Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Washington Post, and DaybreakHe completed his MFA at the University of Maryland this past spring, where he won the 2000 Katherine Anne Fiction Prize.  He currently teaches writing at Towson University.