Summers ago we skirted the low roads
in West Virginia where the wear of tires
became a human scream as a train
whistle caught up with us.
I clutched your flesh under ragged
gray cotton, felt your lowest rib.
Even in quiet moments, God remembers
reaching through Adam’s chest
to steal that rib.
At the intersection of a dead road,
where a black and bone sign points
to where route 62 unravels east and west,
choose the one you can’t live without—
the bad habit you can’t break.
Last summer I rode west on 62 to a house
pummeled by rain, a home full of you.
How daring the redwing black bird clings
to a seed head
while the traffic, uncaring, passes.
Trees grow against the blood
of the horizon, and I turn to the thick taste
of wood smoke, to carefully clipped
lawns under chill street lights.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.
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