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Kathleen Florence: Three Poems

Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

Heavy Metal Pedal

we were rolling to Nashville the day lovely Layne died somewhere near Dayton, Ohio

stopping to drop shots at the local pool shop you hallucinating your next tattoo a peace sign butterfly cactus headed horse riding a red rose vine heel to neck small bud unopened above the hip bone highway artery between two cities

between wrist and heart, knees and lungs north and southern differences

you repeat ramble on and I keep thinking the killer is me my heavy boot crushing flowers to make time

in a non stop rocknroll roadtrip fantasy in reality there is no reality no one knows for sure what happened in between night glowing neon motel signs boasting coloured tv diners tempting all night breakfast

there was a moon

I saw the whole thing just before we came down through the tunnel under yellow lights

feeling like an empty stomach in a country we didn’t recognize with its southern signs for finding salvation billboard legal advice billboard medicine price 1-800 no one reading the signs could afford

after a time you changed the tune slowing us down like a dance in the gymnasium young like something might surprise us young like this country on reverb

*

Stoners

gravel throat rocks explode here and no matter how I sweep they’re always clinging to this earth, to me the way gravel rocks do unwilling to move stubborn gravity remember we used to get high

when our little houses got us down when school monitor spies got us down when the backhanded talk got us down when this town and its droop got us down when the shits who chased us with their monster sized trucks got us down when your father found out and lost his shit got us down when my mother shut the door got us down when no one cared no more got us down we threw busted rocks and started running we broke windows we turned our backs we turned right back around again taking the air and words and hatred anyone dared throw our way

*

Back In Black

there are days when sadness has no ground to break or bounce back from when tom waits doesn’t do it when rem won’t shut up when syrupy songs twisting knives in my daily drive until the gas tank empties and there’s nowhere else to go

in my parent home I close the door turn up cindy lauper true colours playing until the tape jams strange cry the only kind of friend to want in hard times

and my acdc sweetheart who cancered in her thirties the year of divorces the year of choices we live with it is her gravestone I see the picture her family had carved hint of a double chin I tease her about it with a flower I can hear her laughing over that spaghetti supper tipsy faced school dance friend’s crush on her brother and the things that crushed us into turning the volume UP

***

collage by Kathleen Florence

Kathleen Florence blog

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