I live on the edge of black gumbo farm land
to the east and fractured limestone mesas
that defined west for me. From the dam,
I see both vistas. One stretches toward the gulf
with red snapper, shrimp, and words like bayou.
The other seems like another planet—I expect
to see a different sun, maybe a second moon.
Before the dam, on a back road now under
the deep blue green waters of a lake, I kissed
a girl one sparkling afternoon after bathing
in the river. We lay in the grass and laughed.
How simple and easy—the music on the car radio
as we drove back to town. It must have been
Kennedy and Diem were months dead—the FBI
fumbling to decipher The Kingsmen—every night at ten—
what were the words—all kinds of ways…
We stop for hamburgers and fries. We lie to each
other, knowing but somehow still believing
the possibility of a different world, of an extra moon.
The god damn moon.
I look east and south and wonder how long
it would take to float the river to its mouth.
First published in Boston Literary Magazine