The High Yellow Room
by Beth Spencer Cummings

    In the fields behind
    the slouched commissary, the wind wavers
    against cedars. A woman in a puckered white dress
    sells boudin and root beer to the migrant
    workers and the wind warbles
    and falls in a low pitch, almost like
    yodeling against the blue.
    I prefer spaces where you can
    lose a quarter between the boards
    of wooden dance floors, where you can light a match
    after match trying to find it
    between the slats. I have found comfort
    in places below ground, smoke so thick
    you couldn't see and brown sacks twisted
    around Ushers' Green Stripe
    and Popov. I've even found comfort
    renting by the hour in the high yellow room.
    One morning, I woke to the smell
    of dead gar wrapped in newspaper. A summer
    tanager lit on the vine post out front
    and I could barely stand the beauty of it
    against the river's flood plain.

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