Doug Paul Case

Aubade with Brad Pitt on a Tractor

         this is long-haired Brad      chiseled
Brad            when was he not                   Brad
     with the sun in his eyes & on his chest & glinting
off his belt buckle & between us        & this is a distance
that seems farther than it is              Brad   
                   drive your tractor in my direction

        Brad         stick it in gear        you know the direction
& how long it will take & how I’ve waited for your chiseled
body to rumble over these stalks           Brad
            has anyone ever looked so delicious     Brad
riding across land built to feed              this distance
Brad       can only be crossed by your steed        glinting

as fire does       reflected on still water      glinting
      as fire did       reflected on last night’s lake       what direction
Brad       is that from where we are         what is the distance
              Brad     from where we were         how chiseled
     the map         the route      why did you leave         Brad
when the water was so cool & the breeze steady            Brad

why with my head so comfortable on your shoulder             Brad
       did you run off into the woods        the fire glinting
                   then against the water over my body       Brad
my clothes on the bank           floating & searching for your direction
           until certain it could not be found          chiseled
     determination could not overcome your distance

         Brad        what is distance
     & why did you create it & what did you find       Brad
that could not be found with me      what did chiseled
determination get you when you ran     glinting
under the starlight         caught in your hair         in the direction
           we would all take if we could      Brad  

my body was too cautious to leave camp     Brad
to follow yours away from shore      so it was the distance
      of depth that took me      for a time       the only direction
was there & then & without you          & Brad
              the chill was barren    & glinting
     firelight is not real warmth        nothing like chiseled

muscles     Brad      nothing like pistons running         Brad
     won’t you drive your glinting body across this distance
           the chiseled stalks collapsing in my direction

Doug Paul Case lives in Bloomington, where he’s an MFA candidate at Indiana University and editor of Gabby, a new journal dedicated to the talky poem. His poems have appeared in Salt Hill, Court Green, Redivider, and Barrow Street.