Mrs. Wiggins’ altocumulus undulatus asperatus

Kevin McIlvoy


Abraham     Dear Abraham         I miss you      Abraham I see Kudzu Serrucho and I miss you    whenever I'm not the people in my dreams I start to think you're the people in my dreams

Kudzu pulls off the saw's yellow and red cardboard sleeve – sometimes you're the people in my dreams when I really am

the people in my dreams       your white cane stirring the floor      Kudzu says "Vamos por ella" – "Let's go for it" is what it means     and he leads me into the neighborhood a block east of Mr. P's Hardware – Are you still blind Abraham? – you know what  I mean     

Abraham you know what I mean     you could see how Kudzu got the name     the trees in the neighborhood the bushes and garden plants the dog-runs and doghouses the legs of real slow dogs the garages and fences the satellite dishes      kudzu-kudzu-kudzu     he doesn't hold the saw at his side   the kudzu is not transition-averse like me     it hyphenates itself

on the Parkway bridges   on the carwash hoses    his chest is where he holds it     Lifetime Warranty     his small fingers don't fit the handle      fairly hard he spits on the blade      stares

takes a whiff of the steel – I can't help feeling it's a tiny world this green grave this hardware store of hardware stories in which a stranger utter stranger would have the same lung problems I do – same bad-smelling sputum for which – I ask him "You take pills?" – "Four" he says – for which I take pills     four pills every day      

"For what good?" he asks in a dream Spanish loogie that has the word comezon in it – laughs – I wouldn't know that word comezon at all if I didn't get the exact same side effect      the itching     he wipes the saw blade off against his pants – his face is pissed and beneficent     under the surface are white-hot green slender vines

and slight stems of green lightning – I'm thinking of this woman Mrs. Wiggins – this was on the Google News – the woman who took a photo that made cloud physicists name a new cloud category    Abraham remember when I used to read the newspaper to you?     this Kindle thing will read it to you now     if there's no one to do that     this Kindle thing has two Text-to-Speech readers     they call them T2Ss

I brought it up – new cloud category -  two voices     male and female     Tina Turner & The Boss     stalking the neighborhood with Kudzu – making conversation – "Brand new cloud category" I said – I added "I have two sons"    Kindle doesn't tell you anything about the T2Ss     I researched it      Tina     Bruce     He said "Look at them" and pointed to the row of black plastic mailboxes on wood posts

many    many of them     "Sons too" he loogied  

that was a fine thing – his loogySpanish – that we both had sons      two      he looked into the blade – held it in front of me so I could look

these modern mailboxes are a box and a long plastic sleeve that fits over the post and is fixed to it with 12 woodscrews – to cut one down you have to do some unscrewing or you have to saw through the plastic     you haven't seen a loogie     have you?    have you touched one?    when will we speak of it Abraham?    when I took the job as The Silence I had the opportunity

to go mad and die     

I took the opportunity     and then I lost the job and then they hired The New Silence and I had the opportunity to move to North Carolina

and go mad and die

and I took the opportunity     I can't promise that I'm ever going to shut up about it

we had no screwdriver     a wind was picking up and he and I had no screwdriver Abraham     you have an email address Abraham     but you're still blind as a tadpole Abraham     Abraham     the wind made me think of how a page of newspaper turns by itself if you look at it hard and long on a windy day after you've gone almost forever without sleeping     so someone      Abraham someone sighted or less blind than you is reading this to you    hello Reader    hello     Reader I was a father and had two      two who loved me

& I was Abraham's reader     I was his T2S       We sawed right through the plastic and Kudzu sawed down the sturdy mailboxes of Mr. Martin and The Rorty Family    on the saw sleeve it said the teeth were "induction hardened"     a hallucinatory green banner flies where Kudzu's head should be     they stay sharp longer    Abraham?      Abraham it's true they stay sharper if they're hardened by induction    and my theory – I told you -- I've been sleepless now for 56 years and you're the one who said that's like 106 – my latest theory is that the green banner is what my brain makes where it would have made a dream

Kudzu's head     is transparent liquid diamond green     the wind makes it whip and
snap     the lapping tongues inside his face thrash     four pills per day      expensive      I lay down each mailbox's head and body     itching      itching but not scratching     they say      my sons say they can't ever think of me the same way again   

when he hacks up a few lung-flowers I hack up some too      a vase of some kind would be nice

that would be nice about now because you want the last things to last     it's not a tunnel     people will tell you that      the Reader – not a real human – might have read that to you     I might have    but Abraham     Abraham     at the end there is a second-to-the-last thing                and there is a last thing

the second-to-the-last thing is a turning or a reaching      a bending down     it's not white-lit not glorious not much   when about 56 to 106 years of no-sleep have passed

you hear "Let's go for it – let's go for it – vamos por ella"    

& the last thing is a simple sawing motion    8-point     20-inch     short cut     you lower the flag and close the mail mouth     it's not what you thought – not  a tunnel or tube white-lit and your whole life draining down    if you are     Abraham      Abraham      if you are       being read to       who in hell is reading to you?     

if I could like I used to     I'd read you a first article      and then      all the way
through     all 296,111 related articles on Mrs. Wiggins' one photo     altocumulus undulatus asperatus    she said it was like no cloud she'd ever seen.