November 9, 2006 at 5:11 pm (Blue Kansas)

In the back of the general store
The black girl
Sells torn maps
Of countries without roads
On the walls are hearts
Drawn in chalk
On the floor old ladies
Lie twisting and moaning
The shopkeeper is impassive
Seated in the cobra chair
With a bell and rattle in his lap
He could be a thousand years old
The counter has bottles of dark liquor
And dishes of bright food
In the center the virgin smiles
From a faded unframed print
It is not clear what currency
You must use
To make a purchase here
Nor why you would want to go
To this land where the moon rises
From the ground
And the sun disappears
Into red oceans
Something in her eyes perhaps
A thin thread
From before the war, before the peace
Before everything
A thread left dangling
In some impossible wind

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