Literature 6-26-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Ryan Vine

Ryan Vine is the thirteenth poet chosen in this once-a-week yearlong survey of Minnesota’s poets and their work. The series is sponsored by Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Ryan Vine

Hangover, Sunday, 9 AM

and through the hotel lobby comes this girl,
she could be 10, could be twelve (who cares?),
her hair still wet from her morning swim;
it’s turned her red shirt redder in two blotches
on her shoulders and chest and she’s pushing
this luggage dolly, this empty luggage dolly,
one of its wheels missing and the other
three cry and scream as she slowly pushes it
across the golden-swirled carpet, across
the milky tile, slowly, importantly,
with the careful consideration of a ten year old,
her plastic flip flops squeaking in her-foot-sized puddles,
across the whole lobby; and now she’s banging it
into the wall, because the force of where the missing
wheel would be is throwing her occasionally
out of control, so she stops, but not really,
just fast enough to pull it backwards, or
push it forward even harder; now she’s slamming it
into other luggage dollies, trying to put it
in the room where they store other luggage dollies,
and coatless hangers clatter to the floor
like spent shells and some huge cannon, some wide,
dark mouth has spit you out right here.

Ryan Vine is assistant professor of English at the College of St. Scholastica. His first collection of poems, Distant Engines, winner of the 2005 Weldon Kees Award, is forthcoming from Backwaters Press.