I was going through my things today when I found an avalanche down
in my sweaters. She looked so lonely so I asked her to dance, just this
once, for old time’s sake, though I knew she would slip through
my arms like before, in those days when I used to leave my beard long
& have recurring dreams of thousands of collies licking
my face & arms. I put on a record once given to me as a present by an old
friend who worked at a job where he was forced to, at his own
expense, give presents day & night to every person he had ever
met. It wasn’t really a job, he told me. It was more like Stockholm
Syndrome where I played both roles & wrote ransom notes to
myself that I mailed along with locks of my hair
to my own address. What I mean to say, he told me,
is that I didn’t get paid, but I got to be my own boss.
I could work from home, he told me. The record was
scratched beyond repair & skipped wildly as we danced
through the house, leaking & flowing across the floor &
rug like we didn’t remember what came before or after.
Russ Woods is a poet librarian who lives in Chicago, IL. He is the author of two books, Wolf Doctors (Artifice, Spring 2014) and Sara or the Existence of Fire (Horse Less, Fall 2014). He is co-editor of Skydeer Helpking with Jeannette Gomes, and his poetry and collaborations are published or forthcoming in Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Columbia Poetry Review and Salt Hill.