I hold my breath

by | Dec 11, 2015 | Poetry

I hold my breath
driving between the empty auto plant and cemetery

where two maples rise over the gates
like giant lungs the invisible
engine shakes the wheel as the prison’s cyclone
fence goes racing by

my cigarette’s a minor firework
in the rearview mirror the tailpipe coughing
up black blood

I don’t give a fuck

I just adore the crack and hiss of opening
a beer aiming the old four-banger
at the mountainous clouds
looking for another place to wreck

[from Dirty Bomb, Oberlin College Press, 2015]


Photo by Tyler Sprague

About The Author

Mark Neely

Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill (winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize) and Dirty Bomb, both from Oberlin College Press. He has received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Indiana Individual Artist’s Grant, and his poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Boulevard, Willow Springs and elsewhere. He teaches at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.