Calculating Route
Looking like Lady Liberty
            in a mud mask worn thin
that the cosmetologist prescribed
            for combination skin,
 
wearing a slip she calls a dress
            (it’s clearly not), one sock,
one shoe, her hair heaped up, her free
            hand covering the clock,
 
Wynona drives a loop around
            a town two towns removed
from Pleasant Bluff—just up and left
            tonight as if that proved
 
she isn’t stuck. Yes, see how stuck
            she isn’t, unconcerned
with the vaguely British voice explaining
            where she should’ve turned?
 
She used to choose the scenic views,
            parked, flinging cans or matches
over the edge, relieved at last
            to see the purple patches
 
of sky go black; she used to feel
            half-holy, set apart
from the tangled arteries that fed
            the city’s ill-lit heart.
 
Ah well, Wynona’s older now
            and holy’s flown the coop;
she hauls her fat soul down the road,
            grown sick of chicken soup
 
and goodwill. These days, sleep’s a hint
            her body doesn’t drop,
and bloodshot, spray-tanned, flaky-faced,
            Wynona drives to stop
 
the endless spinning; nothing clears
            her head quite like the fogged
observatory of her car.
            Considering she’s logged

a million miles on the stretch
            connecting Back and Forth,
she knows this much: from plate tectonics
            to magnetic north
 
the earth is shifty; like the dead
            GPS in her lap,
the gods, those bum cartographers,
            are all over the map.
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