Here where after the sand truck's first pass, morning traffic churns snow and sand to
what I convince myself is marzipan to make being here somewhat less bitter, I mean
cold. On the sidewalk a banana peel—the start of a cartoon slapstick bit anywhere else,
well, I suppose only in a cartoon, Elmer or Tom sliding to a cymbal crashing crescendo,
Bugs or Jerry laughing at the clatter, inciting us to laughter. But here in this winter I
laugh because I don't know whom the laugh's on, because this peel crunches underfoot
as brittle as the canned laughter that always follows those spring-loaded snakes
erupting from the can of mixed nuts on all of those television shows I can't quite recall.
Knock, knock. What's that? The sound of me slipping on ice and falling to the ground.

About the Poet

Sean Hill is the author of Blood Ties & Brown Liquor (UGA Press, 2008). His awards include fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, DIAGRAM, Tin House, and numerous journals, and in several anthologies including Black Nature. He lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. More information, as well as poems, can be found at