Empty Parking Lot, 2:07 a.m.
over that hill, past the mills, is the crooked house I escaped from.
it wasn’t a great fall with the colors, mostly hunter green and rust with the rain.
like it was too depressed to go ahead and shine like it usually does.
now, it’s a sheet of white, the dying hidden.
catch snowflakes on my tongue, a cold smoky taste.
how winter feels on burning cheeks, how zero temps settle wild hearts.
weightless motes cascade down from the black & swirl around streetlights.
what I’m tasting is sky, pure dark sky, free from anyone.
up ahead on a dark back road there’s a mess of flashing lightsa neon checkpoint (or an
accident)drunk dizzy & shaking for mercy from the need to escape himthey’ll never
understandthe officer motions to roll down the window go ahead smell the vodka the beer
the rum the marijuana he smokeswaiting for the words please get out of the car but the
officer also sees the black streaks tattooing my cheeks & neckthe intense desperation to
please just let me go he asks if I’m okayI just want to go home, please let me
go home, I live two roads away, I’m fine, please don’t ask, just let me go that’s what you can do
for meand he waits a second and waves me on drunk as anything and crying to the place
in life where you can’t catch your breathglance into the rearview mirror watch as I go
we both know it was as bad as bad gets
in yards of raised ranches and colonials
the September light fools us
this autumn’s song is sunless
fear is a hallway, long, dark, and hot
fear is the chill in passing
someone is there on the other line—
what will we give you?
only eyes and feet and skin
to see to run to feelyou
in attics and backseats
night houses of beer and fire
climb onto the rooftops
there’s your face—
a disrupted shadow
the headlights of trucks
whiten your skin
like flashes of the past,
we dare you—
what is your name?
before your finger dials our numbers
to prepare for our last winter