there’s a sweet little girl
in pulaksi county.
her old man works
at the air conditioner factory
tore his ham right off the shinbone
she stayed with him all these years out of pity.
her passion burns hotter
than high july,
in a world frozen colder
than bad old december
she’s pretty as her daddy
but got her momma’s temper, i met her
in little rock, on an overnight to memphis.
she said “look around this bar
i ain’t exactly the most beautiful
and the guys ‘round town only want me because
i work in pharmaceuticals”
i said chemistry is fine, but physics is better
she said “i prefer ballistics. take your shot”
later, she told me, through
a haze of grey green smoke
“somedays it hurts to feel, it only
feels good when everything is burning or broken”
i told her “burning means nothing is
left behind”. she said “you ain’t fucking kidding”
she coulda packed all she owned
and lit out with me to memphis.
what else is life if not a series
of ill-conceived adventures? but there were
ties that bound which had not yet been burned
or broken or bargained to nothing.
so in the town where the
strip malls praise the name of the lawless
in the pink, glaring light of the
she’s still fogging up the windows of her ford
explorer and i’m still driving from lil’ rock to memphis.