I have to build a new fence in my backyard.
I have to replace windows in the front.
I am separating debt
from my face and my breath and the day
and I know—acutely—
that there are monsters in the money
and tall stacks of Death
in the handshakes I have traded with the rain.
I have a policy
in place where I dismiss the concerns
of the owls and rodents and bonus items
that I discover in my shadowed garden:
across the yard a lake—
beyond the retaining wall a bridge—
beneath the sky our loves—
a system of calculated gaffes
made golden as they wash away their own amusements.
Please bring the kids inside
because the clouds are rolling up their sleeves
and clenching their fists
like cartoon giants clearly fed up with this shit.
Josh Bettinger is a poet and editor. He is the author of the chapbook A Dynamic Range Of Various Designs For Quiet, from GASHER. Recent publications include Salt Hill Journal, Western Humanities Review, Handsome Poetry, SLICE, flock, Columbia Journal, Atlas Review, Crazyhorse, and Boston Review, among others. He lives in Northern California with his wife and kids.