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1983.

This town. 1983.

Alabama's dead logs sleep inside us.

At night Todd burns cars

For money. It's slick.

In his mouth

The flowers of smoke

Burn their memories

Into his tongue so he will kiss me

And I will taste them.

And when he's thrown into the jail

By some FBI small-man

And he's laid up in a quality

Doom, and the grocery clerk's

Miraculous smile hurts me,

And the supernatural talk show host,

And the dog that fleas on the couch:

I've inherited this life of ownership.

And when he gets out

He brings an island back with him

And dances me around it

On the kitchen floor.

I follow him into his wilderness

And empty myself

Into the Tequila jug.

He chews the worm and swallows it

And licks the salt off my neck,

And we cry out

To heaven's container above us,

To the cement hell below us,

All our versions of small misery

Which are: his dogged out Cad

model 1972 and the engine

Coughing a tongue of smoke,

And the seats inside like greased black wings,

And the tough thought I have

That we should drive our asses

To California,

That locomotion is love,

That locomotion is love,

And him coming home greased up

From the ARP plant,

For hours I glimpse

A musical phrase

Made of parts and parts,

And later me listening

To the parking lights of his breathing,

And loving

The skin of dirt he left on the tub,

And the wig of our carpet

Branching outward,

And our lives moving

There in the piles,

And our whole human histories filled

With all that Goddamned loving-kindness.
COPYRIGHT 1994 World Poetry, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Snyder, Jennifer
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Nov 1, 1994
Words:274
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