somewhere outside of Tunica, Mississippi


So we wondered and I guess it was only for a few seconds as she was at a pay phone in the rain or was it the wetness of the neon lights' drizzle, with some semi-anonymous city expressing itself as a few antebellum mansions adorning deep green hillsides in a distance of storm grey with bright yellow ties of occasional lightning in a further distance, the place we were trying to get to before sunfall while I was getting high off gas fumes filling up our old beater of a car, picnic blankets and a dog in the back, yesterday's parking ticket wet-stuck to the window, phone number of a friend taped on the dashboard awaiting our arrival to be dialed, beers chilling in his refrigerator, shrimp and chicken awaiting the limelight of the grill, the photo album of him and his beautiful wife's recent trip to the Big City complete with an unexpected "art photo" section featuring her, or shall we say, her naked body as the object of contemplation/desire, and how this left his (male) friends feeling, especially those without current girlfriends (on long-shot southern nights without the luxury of air-conditioning), while the two of us, three counting the dog, had thousands of miles down the pike to an oasis in the desert they call Las Vegas, staring us right in the eye yet there was nowhere to get comfortable for a yogic dip into waters of ecstasy, so as we drove we described—whiteline hypnotrance miles upon miles state after state (of the same state) resplendent with road ravaged flat tires of flattires and armadillos smooshed in their helmet bodies—what we'd do to each other right then and there if we could and it was either the rain or sweat that kept her hair wet, the dog panting, and my big toe placed firmly on the gas peddle speeding towards a wreck we would invariably, or at the last second, hope to miss—

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philip kobylarz's

work has appeared in Paris Review, Epoch, Poetry, and Best American Poetry. His two books are rues and Now Leaving Nowheresville. Kobylarz has two books forthcoming.

photo by brantlee reid