The Current

Mike Puican

One of me replays what he should have said
to the judge at the custody hearing. One of me
walks the shoulder of I-80 while the sumac
bursts into a scatter of sparrows. One of me wades
into a rain-filled rock quarry while another
of me watches from the other side.

One’s stomach knots as his boss
enters the conference room. One’s not sure
what a c-clamp is but he doesn’t want to return  
to his father without it. One checks his phone
two minutes after the last time he checked his phone.
One sleeps in an open field under a nickel sky. 

On a bench in early spring, one suddenly
gets an erection. He’s as surprised as anyone.
One of me throws his wallet into the street and
hitchhikes to Denver. He undresses the woman
he will marry in two years; he watches as she
steps into the shower. One stands by a bluff 

as his parents’ ashes sift through the trees.
One says, “I’m stoned. I mean, starved.”
He lets go of his father’s hand, then sprints
into Main street. One of me wonders
how a particular fire came to rest in his heart.
He checks his phone again. He loves that color on her.