We're in !@#$%^&* Kentucky
by Francine DuBois
and paducah reeks of puberty, trapped
between old poverty and new facades,
forever awkward in everyone else's clothes.
as we walk from the truck to our room,
i worry about being stripped down
to my underwear and shoved into a locker.
the evil, fear, violence, whatever, is trapped
in the air like humidity. if it was just a man giving
me the eye, i could avoid it.
you can't hide from oxygen. and this
atmosphere is pulsing through my blood.
i almost scream. i can't tell you why, but
i can feel the anger rise in me like vomit.
i curse nonstop through kentucky,
throwing profanities around like 98 lb. weaklings.
and i know now why they drink here,
this land of perennial adolescent angst
drives them to it. i just want out;
i'm getting that old high school feeling
where i just want to run anywhere,
and if we all run in different directions
we'll lose 'em. they'll never find us.
i have a hunch that people disappear here
and they never come back, their stories
written on gas station walls for the truckers
to read between illinois and tennessee, their
stories to be spread like syphillis.
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's
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