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.