J e n n i f e r   M a r t e l l i

 

Hump, or The Weight of Life is Heavier Than Even the Weight of Things 

                         --Rainer Maria Rilke

 

There’s a lady in front of me in a black shiny-as-a-hearse SmartCar. 

We have to stop to let a big old turtle cross this narrow road 

from the pond to the hill the men in orange vests 

blow up little by little every day at noon. 

The lady dangles her arm out the window. 

She looks like someone in a car costume, coming home 

from a party she stayed at way too long. 

It’s hard to know when to go 

but it’s good to keep things close. A man once asked me, 

why don’t you tie a mattress on your back? 

That way, you’d never have to leave the bar. 

I liked the efficiency of that, plus 

I wanted another drink. The hill will be down any day now and 

they will begin to build a new hill, a better one. 

The lady in the tiny hearse will be home before the blasting and the turtle? 

Explosives don’t deter her: she’s seen it all, carries it under her hump.