Which Ever Way.
I ran 95 North, 95 South, 40 West, 40 East
all the way to the plastic-filled Atlantic. I closed
my eyes to every rest stop, truck stop, state flower,
the broken-in heads deer lining the road
like a parade crowd. Eveiy tree on 1-85 leans
over me like a holy woman, and if they could speak
would say again and again the wind the wind,
like speaking with an aunt after her stroke,
a mind on a freeway filled with unrecognizable bones.
I died on 96 North,
I was a ghost on 96 South,
US 64 East all the way to my mother's house,
in every direction I was leaving, in every direction
it smelled like blood, a body under a turkey vulture-filled sky,
a jar of coins my uncle kept on his dresser
that he hoped would save his life someday.
On the map I'm making he's at every turn,
every street on the Southside is still black,
charcoal doesn't give you cancer,
so every night is a cookout marked by smoking stars.
A chalk red cardinal
will always mean I love you.
The dead mark the living on bone maps
as whole cities they can enter,
walk around in with no reason to run.