I swear I’ll leave your ass in Tennessee
with the trumpet vines and BarcaLoungers
slumping under carports. Maybe at a BP
near the bottom of a hill, where a state road
curves that way and a sandy one cuts back.
Maybe there next week, I’ll leave your ass.
You can throw your hands up all you want,
cinematic like, dramatic, your rage so quick
to bloom you’ll smash your phone to bits
before you’ll call me. You can be happy
in the injustice of all that balance:
a thought forms and then rejects itself, lizards grow
by eating the gray skins they have outgrown.
The dog, Caesar said, is cat. The jelly jar is cracked
and that your one good glass. Alas, I guess,
is a thing you’d say. Cross a river. Then another
or the oxbow bend of the same. It doesn’t matter.
The world reaps what the world repeats.
It’s natural as nature to always feel afraid,
to keep playing, even when you’ve been outplayed.
ADAM HOULE is the author of Stray (Lithic Press), a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Shenandoah, Guesthouse, and elsewhere. He lives in South Carolina where he is co-editor of Twelve Mile Review and an assistant professor at Francis Marion University.