Monday, March 7, 2011

Highway 54: Stratford, Texas




Highway 54: Stratford, Texas

The motel maid's kid left pink
and blue marbles in the shower stall.
The room is sour with the sweat
of the last guest, a runaway priest.

Across the road there's whiskey,
baskets of fried vegetables,
a stove-belly bartender
with glazed eyes and a leather vest.

A half awake dancer sways,
keeps a loose grip on a brass pole.
She's body-painted gold, smiles,
lifts a big fake breast, shimmy-pivots.

Later, at a roadside pancake house,
over strawberry shortcake, she smiles,
strokes her glass of iced tea.
A waitress calls her Freckles.

The water from your shower is rusty.
You shut your eyes, see yesterday's
twisted cars, flares on blacktop.
There's a still life of apples above your bed.

Freckles puts on her lemon-colored dress,
jots her number on a Gideon Bible,
says, You should feel as happy as Jesus,
like on his 21st fucking birthday.

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