The Road Knows Where I've Been

Before dawn, when the stretching
               street builds up the strength to suffer
a school bus, forgiving the litter of drunk men,
               while the black grass shoulders

each home, life is growing
               impatient, full of bondage: bourbon,
empty beds, pictures; and my opening
               of car doors rekindles the domino

effect, for no matter what size a knot
               tangles in my stomach, the day’s clockwork
gang shaves every second
               like a thousand men leaning

over a sink. Because home is a ghost,
               throated with heavy smoke, my tires dip
and curve down this side road where the signs
               are crooked and the potholes deep.

Derek Graf is an MFA candidate at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His poems have been featured in Blast Furnace Press, Poydras Review, Misfit Magazine, and are forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, Prompt Literary Magazine, and Green Blotter Literary Magazine.