Road to Labelle, FLA
By Beth Gordon
It's #tbt! Enjoy this great one from SWWIM Every Day's archives!
There is no mortician or used car dealer in the town where they tested the bomb. No place to bury bodies without disturbing nuclear dust, Oppenheimer dead from multiple cellular mutations. We move out of desert towards hurricane memories and seashell swamps and she tells me about the acres of land she will buy, the horses she will count and name. We have nothing in common but funerals and highways and she searches for cigarettes. I wonder if I am wrong to be suspicious of grapes grown in sand fertilized by heron hatchlings. Pirate’s gold. Purple wildflowers shaded by Spanish moss. Azaleas and palm trees search for April sunshine and billboards appear like haunted ships in fog. Breast enhancements, injury law hotline, gun show at the state fairgrounds. I suggest Clementine, Madeline, Layla, knowing that she hasn’t slept more than three hours at a time for the last four years. O Lord Make a Shepherd of Me in this land of bone dice and my stepmother’s suicide. I want to swallow salt and fiddler crabs, but I taste panther and pig, the lovely buzzing of low flying planes. The wildfire daydreams of insomniacs and horses and unexpected cows.
Beth Gordon is a poet, mother, and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. She is the author of Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe (2019, Animal Heart Press); Particularly Dangerous Situation (2020, Clare Songbirds Publishing); This Small Machine of Prayer (2021, Kelsay Books); and The Water Cycle (2022, Variant Literature). Beth is Managing Editor of Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art; Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press; and Grandma of Femme Salve Books. Twitter and Instagram @bethgordonpoet.
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