The slow brown river makes fertile demands
on a country stained by cranberries.
The women, dressed in linsey-woolsey skirts
present their beaus with spires of tin
and eye the sky with prayers for lightning.
Those not given over to hysteria become grave
and craft themselves as bandit queens,
waylaying travelers on 44, their faces painted to
stop traffic, brandishing mimeographs from Eisenhower.
Seeking to repudiate scientology with motel-six holy water.
Town boys in Kenosha Cadillacs, expecting
pallid ravines, or some hush harbor full of
sweet white honey, are troubled by this garden of ghosts,
where an auburn haired hymnist sits long into the night,
on a golden island, hunched over “Hallelujah”
They long for gothic Lolitas, smooth and easy/pink
not some moribund aquarium, eutrophied
by petty grievance; not for scavenging the
ashes for the nails. They long to drive
down two rut roads, straight in, straight out.
They pull by her roadside attraction, virgins
of the evenings, looking for silver accouterments,
big blue whales, teeth bleached white with Comet
from city water and fast food, overdosed
on thorazine, on highways, bent like oyster forks.
Squirrels enumerate the dead, only white boys
die here, they die flaccid and are resurrected hard
in the hope that skinny girls are easier, so they
pour their 40’s, she waves them away, little boys,
not even footnotes in her volumes of longing and despair.