Harry realized then that the book was so intimate
that all he could do was mark his place
with a thumb, close the manuscript,
look out the window, and try not to cry
because, he said, it’s so damn close to the final shit
and because the book asked the reader a question
that only God Almighty should be able to ask
because, see, Harry said, it’s just
such a freaking, horrifying burden
to have that question asked of any man.
And then Harry refused to describe either the novel
or the question and when, under influence of drink,
you protested and pressed the point he threatened
to kill your ass, man, to spare you the pain
of ever knowing that awful load
that Harry now bears for you and for us all.
Dale Wisely founded and co-edits Right Hand Pointing, One Sentence Poems, and White Knuckle Chapbooks. He can draw a Venn diagram to help you understand the relationship between muscadines and scuppernongs.