It never completely gets dark on those back roads. There are stars, deceptively few. And velvet consumes and velvet erupts: the softness is the leaves and the dirt paths and stables and skin. And eyes. The dark places, the secret places: abrupt, always, fleeting but indelibly there, like a muscle memory. The ridiculous and impudent course of years means nothing: the touch is the same, the taste. Iowa's sweet ground. I close my eyes to the darkness and fall into it more and awake to the street disappearing into fields and lost time. A drive through the cemetery, a different place now Winding up the hill marking a route in the dark with the pond To stand breathless at the crest, arms wide open I chart movements with a cartographer's conscience: throw open my shirt and open my self to the sky flawed and stitched and whole and welcome my mother and forgive my father and know the slap shock of being born.
Reprinted with permission of the author. All rights reserved.