126 Readings | 1 Rating

Wichita, Kansas

Dark-windowed bars sit on the

Banks of the Arkansas

In the bad part of town,

But roofs sag wherever, I swear.

Maybe it’s January snow

Or the wind or the poverty

Or the landlords or the rain.


The Little Arkansas is a muddy wish of river,

Three inches deep in the middle.

This winter has nearly killed us,

But the ducks are doing fine.

Parts of cars emerge from the bed,

And parts of bed emerge from the bed:

A rusty cage of metal, its design

Waving like water.


I used to look for familiarities. 

I would remember which cat

Belonged to what house, the

Sound of the engine of my neighbor’s Jeep,

The blonde bounce of the ponytail of my mail carrier.

Then one day I remembered the word, lonely.


If you are in a car, you can drive

In any direction, forever.

You will be afraid of something,

But you won’t know exactly what.

The milky nuclear dreams

Are still alive, hearts beating,

Inside farmhouses painted 

The color of the sun.


Every dusk there is a sorbet of sky.

The pink of Kool-aid, Hawaiian shave ice blue.

One time I went outside at night

Because I really needed chocolate.

The corner store was closed,

But the moon was so bright, I climbed

The tree shadows in the street.

And that’s when I remembered,  joy.


Posted 01/29/17
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