Beneath the beach umbrella
at Athabaska Tar Sands we’ve just settled nicely in our vintage canvas deck chairs. A few old steam
instruments, strewn, rear their heads; they don’t bother us. Artifacts are to be expected & the scene is hardly ferrous & my name is not Melissa. All the men I’ve known end with younger women named Melissa. The writing was in the sand. Can’t you ever just stay in the moment, he’d complain. Just be. Just be here now. So that’s what I’m doing—I don’t even know what I’ll say next. As an ontological stopgap I gaze from our high prospect out over the landscape, more objects strewn I think shells; no, regulators, hair springs, someone’s abandoned taxidermy
project. He’d advised I go get stuffed.
So I stuffed myself inside the now. Running away like this I suppose we are sinning but we aren’t crude. We are not sin crude. Syncrude is/are the author/s of signs: Danger, Do not trespass, and my favorite, Do not approach bison. Melissa would chatter something witty while you palm coconut suntan oil on her back oh she’d be all slurry & bitumen froth in the now wouldn’t she, stuffed inside her bikini, I imagine it green, the only
green for a hundred miles in any direction. Melissa’s the kind of girl bison would approach, they just wouldn’t be able to restrain their thick heads, hidebound, they’d be, to mistake her bathing suit for some salad bar.