Other People’s Exits

                                                                                             I tried to tell you,
as my eyes scanned the shoulder
of another interstate for frozen deer
and speed traps, and our dogs rummaged
through their terrier dreams, twitching tiny legs
as if burrowing for remembered moles
into pillows lined along the backseat,
that togetherness,
and the music you chose to frame our midnight
as we veered past other people’s exits,
is an act of agreed
                                                                                           upon composition—
country homes bejeweled with aluminum roosters,
hunting stands hidden in groves of ash,
truck stops selling refurbished laptops and chicken marsala,
dim chapels overlooking fields of sun-chafed alfalfa.

Outside Chenoweth, we missed the HELL IS REAL
billboard, its crimson H, but still you quipped,
                                                                                 like a saxophone player
                                                                         selecting a line from endless
                                                                                        melodic possibilities
We call it Chenoweth. In Columbus,
I ran wild with our dogs through yellow
grass, and waiting, you bought antacid.

And then, as we sped down another
           interstate, We’re just a pair of headlights
you said, halfway home like everyone else,
.          weaving through ten thousand other songs
and the ten thousand midnights they frame.



Les Kay

Les Kay holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati’s Creative Writing program. His chapbook, The Bureau, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2015, and his poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in RomComPom, Apt, Whiskey Island, Sugar House Review, The White Review, The Boiler Journal, Borderlands, and elsewhere.

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