Raylene met Skip in high school,
surely it was an accident. He wouldn’t turn
violent, would he? They married
when she was 20, he 21. It’s been crummy,
she thinks, but fears
it’s probably worse alone—
like her Aunt Flynn who sees the Virgin
in her mashed potatoes and prays
to meet someone as she spoons on gravy.
Driving is the one time
when I’m free. I’m not married
on a road, no one’s son,
no one’s employee. I know
side roads from Joplin to Kansas City,
more fun than highways. Towns
pop up like prairie dogs.
On a great day I find a diner
with great burgers or shakes–
when I die maybe I’ll be
a perfectly made French fry.
I might be buried in my car
if gravediggers widen the hole.
disagree. About this.
She’s happiest indoors, staying
with thrift shop dolls. I’m stared at
in a doll zoo. I go out
to my 2007 Chevy Cobalt SS,
an angel that knows
where good eats are,
what tunes to blast forever.
Raylene believes that all of her cats
will go to Heaven. Skip says no,
they just go and that’s that. She
says cockroaches don’t go to Heaven—
why would God want them crawling up
gold streets, living in tidy mansions?
Skip says cockroaches might get
a better place than most people—
who are mean, lazy, and arrogant.
Raylene says that Skip is mean,
lazy, and arrogant. He says yes,
but I don’t care about Heaven—
it sounds like a kid’s game
where only the athletes get picked.
Raylene holds their cat Huzzah
and says he will be going to Heaven
even if Skip won’t be there.
Kenneth Pobo has a book of prose poems forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House called The