“Dear Happy Ending” by Steve Davenport

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Dear Happy Ending


It rained last week
for a hundred years
and change,
bitter change
like ninety-nine nuts
for one squirrel
and one nut
for ninety-nine,
loose change
like the weight
of bodies depends
on the neighborhoods
they come from,
the ones they fall in.
Neighborhood
may not be
the right word.


Happy Ending,
forgive me.
How much longer?
Are we there yet?
I have to pee
and I want
the ninety-nine
everyone wants.


Last Thursday
during Happy Hour,
over cocktail wieners,
pitchers of beer,
and buckets
of popcorn,
thunder rattled
like ammo bins
three nights straight
and it was good
because it kept
everyone inside
while the place
burned and we got
what we deserved,
being mostly water
and self-interested.


Dear Happy Ending,
your friend list looks
like a family reunion.
You should get out
more, meet people,
improve the stock,
give us all a chance.


When I was fifteen,
astronauts stepped
down onto the moon,
dividing it forever
with a flag
and some God.
They tracked moon
dust back into the cabin.
It smelled, they said,
like gunpowder.
Of course, it did,
and mankind
didn’t mean mankind.
That was the day
I grew shark fins,
a couple of whiskers,
and a hard line
of self-interrogation.


Dear Happy Ending,
there’s a reason
why empires collapse
and folks who restrict
membership with gates
and property guns
get eaten by fire ants.
I too want to live
in a tall, round house
with no windows,
no moat, no drawbridge.
On the roof
a water park with lights
and a helicopter.
It’s not a lot
to ask.


For art I was once
half bird, half dynamo,
a flapping, feathery
whir of parts
that stole the sun
and divided it
into many things,
into water and glint,
into chaff and spark,
into salt and peter,
into bang and whoosh.
We are far
from those days,
the sun’s old way
of doing business,
and I can’t remember
where some things
are buried.


Dear Happy Ending,
twenty days after
the moon turned
to gunpowder,
Manson’s gang
went helter skelter
on some gated folks.
That was wrong
in a different way,
so they went to prison.
Parole is harder now
for some folks
because there’s no
forgiveness.
The victims’ families
make sure of that
with their bill of rights.
I want a new bill
of rights
and flying lessons.
I want to kill
bad guys
one by one
and go home
in my helicopter
to my fountain
of lights,
my ninety-nine
nuts.


Next month,
it will rain
for decades.
The past tense
of shit will be shot.
We should all be shot.
I shit you not.
I shoot you twice
because the world,
Happy Ending,
is a hard place
for most of us.
I think you know that.
I think you planned it
that way.