Hwy 24

hwy24 poem collage

© Jill Ensley

Like the first robins of Spring,
Summer signified in the first yellow and white carnival tents,
Collecting and dispersing Chinese gunpowder and smoke, or
Fried fare and pantomimed nostalgia.
To celebrate our clutched victory, our headlong rush,
Down our own dark path

Rickety, transient Ferris wheels in rear-view mirrors,
Framed by pastel twilight, sherbert sunset.
In periphery, a cell phone pulses a rhythmic silent blue, indicating
Alerts and updates, thoughts and validations,
Answered in the fields of fireflies surround.

Endless coal trains, headed South, to the Gulf, off-loaded.
Past sleeping towns, on the outskirts.
Tracks and black dust weaving,
Subtly settling through the North, West, East.
Our penchant for blowing ourselves up.
A bloom of chemistry, of rain, of campfire.

It’s been a week.

-J. Ensley


“You Need A Black Man In Your Life.”

(recently recovered from the two-year dead laptop, circa late Summer 2008)

[“You Need A Black Man In Your Life.”]

Sunset bike ride, pockmarked streets and the sudden scent of dark Jasmine intoxicating like no Hurricane could.

[“Hey girl.”]

Mosquitos flicking, neverlanding asI’mmoving.  Fat, bleeding tires bouncing through the layers of asphalt, river silt, kissing seashells and remembering.

[“Are you married?”]

Not the recent past, but the distant never truly forgotten.  Muddy water, hopping and skipping as it pleases and no longer, no longer.  Slowly, forcefully moving in her concrete and reed dress.

[“Aww, I’m’ just messin’ with ya.”]

Dodging cars, long-distance beads from sister latitudes clattering, wrong way down the right way.  Home, and the sweat melting away with two icicles, pink and blue. A boy and a girl.

[“You be careful out there.”]