As we continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, we are pleased to share a poem published in the minnesota review: a journal of creative and critical writing, issue 95. Check back next Tuesday for another featured poem.
Smoking cigarettes in my one clean undershirt. This summer feels
like a sermon on pride and speed and neon. We’re indistinct as stars
or skateboarders blurry under streetlights. There’s a savant that can
mimic creation, from birds in a sack to bullets the size of a boy’s hand.
Truckers have jokes about the Department of Transportation we’ll
never understand. Our ideals of authenticity and progress stalemate
over the sushi place turned Waffle House. Some say it’s all about
culture with a lowercase c, while others insist it’s what I do when
no one’s looking that matters (e.g., bondage lit, lots of Sheryl Crow).
The truck stop up ahead glitters like a mirage. We may never be in
the same time zone long enough to compromise our feelings of this
place. Its moments of familiarity as fleeting as an oldies station from
a passing car, before it becomes another thing altogether. Girls’ night
resurfaces, but only as some antinomian treat. The murals conceal
their hobo aesthetics beneath layers of persimmon and mauve. It’s
not enough to say we valued risk, that we were beautiful as hunters—
the ones who said tombstones arch like lovers in a field, their spines
thrust in the air, their backs black with crows.