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Southern Gothic Mechanic

With thanks to Bobbi Lurie.

The cows have gone to sleep
as I walk through this park covered in sand
under brisk seaside breeze,
next to the hilled-terrain of cityscape—
marriage of metropolitan hustle with the stillness of the Sound,
marriage: the thing we didn’t do,
everywhere: the screech of tires— breaking.

This car smells like freedom.
Once a leader in this revolution— you
—the settler who drove me out
your rifle, cocked and aimed,
finger curled around the trigger.
I never knew why,
I never knew what,
your finger.

This park is filled with shadow people,
these roads filled with tire marks,
all at once your car is your sleep and your home.
Although the cows have gone to sleep,
and the rodeo show now over,
your rifle is still cocked and aimed,
your finger curled
around the trigger.

The shimmering green Toyota is abandoned in the tow yard
and I continue walking on steep hillsides,
cement dampened in reflection.
I must resist
the temptation to wish,
void the codependent condition
of this city, this metro—
screech of tires in place of living.
Though you steer the wheel with your knees,
though your finger curls around the trigger,
even though asleep,
even though the Toyota is now abandoned in the tow yard,
even though I am land lost in the alamo,
you are far
away from home.

I wake up at 7 AM
walk outside to sit on the stoop in baggy clothes,
warm skin under morning sun,
the way the word warm hums,
the humming of cars starting,
dark iris of your eyes, haunting—
what is always forgotten:

the way your finger would curl around the trigger,
your jaw scraping the city skyline.
Your weapons are no longer welcome here
among the chirping songs
of twitter pated birds,
the freedom the road promises,
these early summer mornings.

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