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Just Married

by Barrett Warner

    I drive,
    Sara sleeps on her shoulder,
    on the window.

    Going into hills, old mountains,
    we pass geographic towns...
    Stony Brook, Overview, Wilson's Pass,
    where bizarre farm equipment
    lies fallow on the plowed earth.

    This is our road to Nashville,
    to the Bluebird Cafe,
    to the big hair part of town
    where songwriters down
    to their last lyric
    pawn guitars for bus fares home.

    Crossing into Tennessee,
    more churches than houses.
    Every one is a preacher here,
    passing their hat to themselves.

    Off the highway
    a home on cinderblocks
    like it fell out of the sky,
    landed on someone else's foundation,
    a marquee face up in the yard
    spelling out "Hell...
    Upside Down Don't Make It Heaven."

    In the wilds after Knoxville
    there are bathtubs stuck
    upright in the ground
    with blue-painted madonnas inside,
    flowers planted
    in last winter's radial tires.

    In one horrible flash a newspaper
    blows up against the windshield,
    headlined, "Woman Shoots Man In Face"
    and then it flies behind us.


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