Volume 68, Number 2 · Spring 2019

Self Exam in Morning-After Rain

We are guilty of thinking about ourselves
too much. If by we, I mean me, if by too much,
I mean all the time. If by guilty, I mean human.

Rain today, thin mist above the apartments
across the street that mar my view of the park,
the unruly green hair of trees reaching above

the mismatched shingles. And how are you
this fine morning? Have you thought of me yet,
looking out on the wet spot where your silver car

once sat nights you spent here? Forgive me
for counting them up, storing them
to keep the pavement of memory dry.

I aced the test by cheating. I held you only
to keep myself warm. This is where you enter
to tell me the X-rays were normal,

that the building’s coming down.

Jim Daniels’s recent poetry books include Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press, 2017), Street Calligraphy (Steel Toe Books, 2017), and The Middle Ages (Red Mountain Press, 2018). His book of short fiction, The Perp Walk, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2019. He coedited RESPECT: The Poetry of the Music of Detroit, an anthology of poetry and lyrics forthcoming from MSU Press in Fall 2019. He is the Thomas S. Baker University Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.