Follow Rivers
by Benjamin DeVos


The man with black aviators
Whistled a high-pitch tune
From his nostrils. Fire
Danced in his reflectors,
Shields from the torrid humidity
That kept his lips dry sealed for thirteen years.
Thirteen years towing, pasting stickers on driver side
Windows, a thirty minute warning before his
Truck hooked its iron mouth around
A Rain rusted bumper.
He stopped by the same food truck
Each day at high noon for a standoff with
Ground beef, his colon unapologetic.
Cowboy bail bonds rejected his application,
On more than a few occasions.
Ya’ll isn’t qualified, they would tell him,
His frames mirroring diffidence,
Rattling rejection, snake boots
Stepping in and out of interviews.
Sun ravaged plains, so much room
For improvement, but
He offered all that came with
Growing up by the brackish bayou.
Mr. cold turkey, he tried giving up snuff,
But ended up driving into his neighbors
Satellite dish, plastered at three in the morning.
Knitting became a source of expression,
Dull chopsticks weaving potholders,
But the weeping willow emblem could not be related.
Some called him a witch; by the way he spent hours
Isolated in a house made of sticks
Dehydrating cayenne peppers
To season fresh spinach.
After dinner he walked through the periphery,
Square dancing through intimate silence,
Drinking cool lemonade and spitting brown goo
Into the slow moving stream
Where he was born.






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