Even If It Wasn’t Real ~ Scott Withiam


Fuel, then, that car filled to the rear window with newspapers
and monthly magazines, all mixed with white envelopes,
all loosely cascading over the front seat,
pooling on the floor around the feet

of the woman driving it, the woman called
the woman with the car full of newspapers,
always arriving out of nowhere, and once sited
by kids on the street complaining, “Nothing to do,”

called,“Emergency landing! For loaded down as she was,
she tipped a wing too far, rolled,
spilled, caused an explosion, because as it was,
when she pulled over, she dug out,

popped the sprung door, pushed back the leak
of papers, in front of the post office brushed off,
straightened on her way in to see Stewart,
the postal clerk. Stewart called Stump.

Stump. Not as a result of explosions,
more because he moved so little
and stated the obvious, like “Those B-52’s
up there refueling again,” though never a word

to the woman with the car full of newspapers,
just the exchange. For her, an unclaimed magazine
or newspaper, an occasional dead letter
that Stump saved, what Stump told us,

once we were ready to stop playing,
was the least anyone deserved,
a place, even if it wasn’t real.
Fuel now, the sound barriers breaking—

to see, then, a B-52 refueling in flight,
to pinpoint, high overhead,
two shiny bodies connected by what
looked like a plastic straw in a milk carton.