The Bus Stops Here


 

Your mind is a county fair 

but the entrance shifts 

 

every time I approach, and

the rides fade or hum away 

 

into the pastures, long past

their second mowing, bales 

 

rolled and stacked two-high. 

When you speak, I hear instead 

 

tractors bogged-down 

in the pull, or greased shoats 

 

squirting free through children's 

arms - no prize too little, none 

 

too great - words cracked and 

twisted into other possibilities. 

 

We watch the races, and the 

horses round the curve 

 

but never reach the finish, as 

the haze becomes a blanket 

 

we lie on, munching corn 

dogs and funnel cakes among 

 

the ant mounds and debris. 

You ask what happened to the

 

cow lady, whether I prefer anthrax 

to rabies, and if we'll be forced to

 

walk home or hitch. I don't know,

I say. Neither. The bus stops here.

Lily Pads - Rachel Misenar

Looking Ahead He Looks Back


Those things we leave behind.
The rooster's full moon crow
or the blue enameled cast iron pot
bearing the scars of a thousand
meals. Hair on a brush. Harsh 
night words and the photos of 
a wooden lighthouse from a 
discarded life. We choose some, 
misplace others. How does a home 
curdle within one night's orbit? 
The answer is not your truth. Or mine. 
I measure my life in hours lost.

 

Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan living in Indiana. He holds a BA in history, served without distinction in the U.S. Navy, lived the hand-to-mouth existence of a bookstore owner, worked as a university administrator, and now bags groceries for a living. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Boston Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Panoply, Eclectica, Into the Void, High Window, Vox Populi and elsewhere. Visit his blog, O at the Edges.

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