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,
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.