By Claire Rubin

            sinkhole swallows two cars in Studio City CA

I dial State Farm: like a good neighbor
on hold for two hours and forty-three seconds
spoke to Leslie whose first language must be Swahili
add sinkholes to my health insurance
life insurance
property insurance

Leslie has no idea what a sinkhole is
            can I speak to your supervisor
sweat streams onto slippery hands

fifty-four minutes later I speak to Eddie

nightmares of
falling into holes
being buried alive
wobbling on Canadian crutches
the rest of my life


my therapist insists on
sessions five times a day
two fistfuls of Xanax at night
(exposure therapy not advisable)

I order a twenty foot ladder
for the top of my car
            buy now with 1-click
put ten gallons of water in my trunk
along with a jar of Jiff & a box of Ritz crackers
I practice climbing onto the roof
& shouting for help
my neighbors look concerned

Eddie seems distracted
too young to see that soon
enough I will walk on shaky
ground soon enough I will lie
in a hole soon enough wrapped
in a white sheet
but not yet O Lord of Sinkholes
not yet O God of State Farm
not yet



CLAIRE RUBIN is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

Back to Issue 9.02