Indiana; Driving

Jessica Morrow


It was Indiana

you wouldn't know

unless you've driven across it

alone or married

slow or fast

singing church hymns after the radio broke



alone in the car

dog in the back seat

and his face


nudging the back of my neck

every lonely moment

I mean every other moment so alleluia I'm full

of cracks and songs and words

lately mostly cracks

wondering why church songs

are so vastly sad

You know the way the streetlights look

lining the highway around Indianapolis

That sweet electric yellow

promising a warmth not delivered

against white twilight and the sleet

its susurrus clean

with light

just after Fairmount stopping for dinner



I needed a semester off

I understood

I'm the one they look for (anyone truckers cops)

if they're looking because you can always tell

the ones who are running from something

not just driving someplace

to see somebody

anybody, as long as

they have lampglow

so sweet and yellow

your eyes glaze at the thought

you're such a fuck-up

it's ok though the radio works this time



it was 5 days post wedding that I cried

all the way through Indiana

I'd been reading Jung

writing all my dreams down

I dreamed it was the apocalypse

and in real life Indiana

was a sunshine emerald

we'd never see such a green again

and in real life you

needed to see James Dean's grave

James Dean's grave just regular and pink flecked

with other stone

smacked all over with lipstick prints

Fairmount was like a dream

I tapped my foot on a wood porch painted blue

you were talking to a guy with Elvis hair

getting directions

to the grave


I've always liked graveyards

how people care for the dead

the sun hit me so hard in the face that day

that I stopped crying and squinted

at you

taking your hat off paying

your respects

while I just tried

to think of a prayer big enough

to hold us



Jessica Morrow is a poet currently living in Michigan.  She received her bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University, where she taught composition while working on her MA in Creative Writing.  Jessica is currently finishing her thesis, a collection of original poetry.  Her work has appeared in literary journals such as Knock and Thin Air, and won third prize in last year's annual Tom Howard Poetry Contest.