JJ & Bowen & me weren’t doin’ nothin’ for a whole weekend,
so we took a ride up north a ways to a couple towns we’d never seen,

not once in our whole damn lives. At a coffee shop, we watched
a well-fed white boy playin’ the blues. There was a skinny man

with gold on his teeth who played the hand drums & was full up
on laughter that kept spillin’ out of him like rainwater in a barrel

during a thunderstorm. Some of it splashed onto the shoes
of a little girl. She was there with her daddy, dancin’ that whole night

& nobody told her to stop, not even once. We went to the waterfalls,
watched a friendly old man try to carve a whole damn horse

outta so many pieces of wood. Folks at the bar where we played
didn’t like the tattoos on our arms, or the beards on our faces,

so they tried not to listen to our poems. We said ’em anyways.
There was an old man so mad at me for what I said, his face

turned the color of a ketchup bottle, made me think of Pittsburgh.
We left town, got burgers ‘n fries at an all-night restaurant. The waitress

was so pretty, so tired, she was prettier than anyone else I’d seen
that whole time. I gave her a token for a ride on a carousel. She laughed

& made me a promise that she’d ride it the next time
she had a day off. That night, I slept all curled up in the back

of the van, dreamin’ of riding wooden horses. I dreamed
like we was goin’ fast. So god-damned very fast.


Photo By: José