The Produce Sections of America

A crudely drawn map of the western US with a trail of crossed-off cities, drawn inside the cover of a book by Faust, which sits on the seat of a car.

Photos credit Wikipedia:Foto H.-P.Haack and Unsplash.com

Every time the phone rings it’s time to pack up
and go to a new city.
Everything I own goes into a duffel bag;
a couple of changes of clothes,
a can opener,
some matches,
a flashlight and batteries,
and the copy of Faust
that I’m perpetually almost finished reading.
Then it’s time to hit the road
for anywhere
that the phone isn’t ringing.

For my twenty sixth birthday
I wished for more time to read
and fourteen days later
I awoke to find
I was the only person left.
It wasn’t that everyone was dead
or at least the bodies weren’t lying around
but rather everything was still
and quiet
and they were all gone.

The Seer

A cloaked and hooded shadowy figure lurks over a small village in the night of a dark, eerie forest, leaves blowing beneath the full moon overhead.

A quiet town, on prairie found
the gentle people sleeping.
The dawn has come, the morning sun
finds a gruesome secret keeping.
The first to rise found a grim surprise:
an arm and two bloody feet.
The village woke to find Fred Oak
ripped to pieces in the street.

With no passers through, the village knew
the killer is one of us.
And the paw prints found across the ground
made everyone suspicious.
Now many a year had passed by here
since the legends first began;
no one believed til this gruesome deed
in wolves disguised as man.

Mittens, Kentucky

An old, hand-drawn map of Kentucky on wrinkled, browned paper. In the upper corner, the words "There's no such place as Mittens, Kentucky" are furiously circled in red. Melancholy notes are scrawled all around the map, which is adorned with pictograms and doodles of indeterminate significance.

There’s no such place as Mittens, Kentucky
and every single person you ask for directions will tell you so.
The car smells of a thousand miles
of beef jerky and no air conditioning,
and the back seat is a museum
of empty plastic soda bottles
and all the crumpled road maps that haven’t helped so far.