–from a billboard on I-65 South


They say what nourishes us         also destroys us         like the dozen dried up

insects I found         in a ring around the light bulb         I envy them for knowing

what I don’t         which is how to give love         freely without saving some

in an envelope tucked in the back of my sock drawer just in case       just in case

I am never able to be open with you         here are the facts of the situation

as I see it         1) you are very pretty         2) there is a little kid inside of me

worrying you are too pretty            3) this world I have never been able

to hold at quite the right angle         4) my life means no more than the lazy

downswing of a Louisiana cow’s tail as we drive by it       5) this provides a kind of

comfort         I went from a pain in the ass to a pretty word         you said that

to me in the car and no one else will know what it means         which maybe

makes me seem cryptic         but even that, I think—turning off the egocentric

desire to connect to strangers         if it means remembering            you more clearly

—is a kind of heaven.


Mikko Harvey