Drag coefficient
John Estes


  Please accept this as my application for a life dedicated to affection. Today I set my threadbare ironic distance, alongside the recycling (number one and two plastics only), at the curb and have been rummaging through the attic and the bottom drawer for my mutilated guide to what in the world is worthy of praise and what worthy of blame. I will, as I promised, stop the lonely woman up the street who motors by in her buggy on her way home from the grocery store, who I recognize each time despite her respiratory mask, and let her pet the doggies. When the Starbucks barrista-assistant preempts my order and asks me if I want my usual I'll not con-sider this an invasion of privacy but find in it the comforts of
community it's meant to approximate. Most forms of fantasy and unreality I abjure. Sometimes I hit the Get Mail button and believe I can conjure the gospel I want to hear. Every now and again it works.

John Estes is the poetry editor for Center at the University of Missouri. His poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Ninth Letter, The Journal, and elsewhere.