In the South, the traction of back roads accumulates,
buckets of sand, shovels, jawing into the wind & disconnect
from ringing, flashing. No technology accommodates for
resistance to change. My mother is reading a book about
proper funeral etiquette — a little after-the fact now that
four beers remind me of my heaviest doorway scenes; I guess
they’re equally great equalizers, the latter always including
a goodbye. You don’t believe in any of my themes: Family,
Escape, Love, but this gift speaks as your smile — Judas to
your well-lipped words, rock & roll and radio. The rips, the
wet-then-dried patch under your signature, the argument
of direction between the million small embellishments are
the scars you only showed well into your reckless drinking
and admissions that night we tricked everyone except each
other: the candle would’ve disappointed you, pulling back
layers of accessory to display frayed hems, proof that surety
was practiced before perfected. It’s still a lie, but you really do
love the play of light on certain curves of glass, leave me with
words like “Where I come from” and statistics of science:
My salted soil to your silver-stained halo print.

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