Jello Rose

38° 3′40.92″N
east 8th avenue
in hutchinson
there’s an alley out back
and a dry dirt road out front
truck in the drive
some trees out back
inside the blue house
under eaves rained on
six hundred times
and burned by the sun
for sixty-five years
this is where the lieutenant died
drunk in his sleep 1956
he’d been sad and dreaming about
bloody young men
then the hodsons and their three kids
who roared about and made the hard kansas dirt
an island of dinos and pirates
scotch on the rocks and steaks on the grill
power jazz and great sex
the kids moved out and after a while
the hodsons went too
now ms. mcafferty
the middle-aged widow of a terrible man
who makes peace with the world in an oven
the aromas that fill the neighborhood lighten
everyone’s feet
wherever it reaches people are happy
and o! should you taste one
you will live forever
and see many wonderful places and planets
stars and sapphire universes
you shall shine she is divine
the green kitchen linoleum is spotless
and underneath the counter in the leftest cupboard
the old brass rose jello mold
for bringing true love into the world.

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