Snowflakes Slide Down My Car

The problem with the ode is the disintegration, 

the “you” becomes something else, a bird, a bell, a tuning fork, a swan. 

The problem with the ballad is the “I,” all sad sap, narcissist 

losing the rodeo. The problem with love 

songs is there are too many and never enough. For example, 

I’m sitting here in the parking lot of a Joanne Fabrics 

on February 12th in the rain and failed snow

with my son, who is not yet ready to stop reading his magical mysteries book 

in the backseat. And what am I doing? I am thinking of you. 

I am listening to the radio and O! the O! of odes, the O! of ballads, 

the O! of the lyre and tribute to the gods. My heart 

is a dented tuba caught out in the rain in a middle school marching band. 

I am like a hair band from the 80s, some backwoods 

county fair stage, and you are a conductor’s elegant itch. 

I want to say You are You are You are I am I am I am.

My desire, you are. The car engine on, the radio playing Queen 

and INXS. I feel like I am not good enough, 

but is that any way to start anything? What I know 

is last year while putting away folded laundry, I was talking to myself

and said, “I am ready to love again.” Oops! 

My husband a few feet away. I hadn’t realized I had not 

been feeling love/d. When I think of you, I want to turn up the dial. 

Which dial? All the dials. I am sitting in this lot 

because my son wants us to make a Valentine for his father, 

my husband. I am sitting in the parking lot of Joanne Fabrics writing 

this poem into my phone. I want so much. But most of all, 

I want to say what is true. I have been without 

music, and now I have it again. In my ears. In my mouth.

Oh, my dear friend! The sincerity of a trumpet. 

Your voice vibrates in my breastbone. What is true is I am 

flawed. Of all the places to suspect music, do you suspect me? Of all 

places to suspect love, would it be in the parking lot of Joanne Fabrics

to a married woman considering the sale price of red-hearted 

fleece? Think about it: What if the philosopher Martin Buber wrote 

a love song? If there is a way this poem is trying to be an ode, a ballad, 

it is in the wild attempt to convince you. Life is not enough, never enough, 

and I am not enough. But I want more. I did not expect this. 

I had planned to remain a dutiful wife. I had planned to relearn how to feel good 

with him. And I did not expect this. I am singing. Ringing and faltering 

and full! I am honey on the bridge of your guitar, 

and I feel good in my wanting. Can you hear 

my little lyre, twanging out for you?