Hometown

By Tyler Kline

There is always a dog barking

now that everything is poor.

 

The shopping center is vacant

but the lights turn on

so no moth is unlit.

 

The jeweler has buried his wife

and the butcher let his pigs go free.

 

I take shortcuts –

 

tag every gas station,

telephone booth,

and stray dog along the way.

 

I stick stakes in dirt

to let everyone know:

            take here, lift here.

 

I spend some time in green air.

Figure a cigarette inside a cookie

means no fortune.

 

Last year I watched a ribbon

holding a shopping center

cut itself open –

now I find the mayor living inside.

 

That summer of jukeboxes.

Their insides would sweat

and that’s how they sounded so good.

 

Now when I pass I bring a record:

 

they melt it down into

a bowl for change.

___

Tyler Kline balances his time between working on an organic vegetable farm and studying English at The University of Delaware. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Saint Katherine Review, Rust + Moth, and San Pedro River Review.


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