Abby T.

my first dog is buried here

each streetlight is its own small yellow body
swimming in orange pool and peel and rind
and this is the empire i crumble in each time happily
without the grief of death and with all the joy of resurrection
the resurrection is always a chain:
a Staple’s, an Applebee’s, a car dealership,

you ever met a highway? heard her whistle?
i wait for oklahoma and it does not wait for me
the apartments line up in rows and small hollywoods
filled with mothers and daughters and dirt
i’ve never smelled tar but it must be like this-
my bones are here my lost teeth are here
imagine i am born sixteen here and never know my mother
or this dirt or these apartments dilapidating
on the underside of Macarthur boulevard
and the topside of my mother’s fever dream
still i am softest in terms of this place
my corners do not exist here
i am in love with a city that has no flashy watch
only hollywoods made of mothers and daughters and dirt
no men with wide brimmed hats or women
who’s dreams find sanctuary here
here you watch the stray dogs go by and wait for Easter
i am in love with a state filled with Fidelity Banks
faithfulness is a city filled with families
who know that even at its safest Oklahoma is a place
that will be robbed over and over again and the girls here
will lose battles in courtrooms every day
but the malls will stay open after dark
and there is a place with prom dresses wall to wall
where Emma will try on all of them and pick the yellow one
the one with the torso exposed
i wonder if in the backseat of every car on this highway
there is a lover visiting the grave of her old flame
or if it’s just me
learning to ride a bike by falling every time
yelling for bandages

scratching the back porch
screaming at God

Jason Carney