Circular Highway

Not far out of the city you’ll find the billboard with Uncle Sam and some bible verses, an old power plant, towns where you might disappear and nobody investigate, faces behind screen doors, gameshows in living rooms, and you’ll barter for firewood and beer money and a burial suit, find secret signs on the water tower, the past loading up in a second-hand store, technology that doesn’t work anymore, worn shoes with the shape of feet still in the leather you take from the shelf and walk out with a flash of the life that walked them before, standing by an abandoned truck leaning in the grass with the whisper of corn stalks in a field you enter with a blast of relief.

Douglas Cole has published four collections of poetry and a novella. His work has appeared in anthologies and in The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Chiron, The Pinyon Review, and Confrontation, among others. He received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry and the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House. douglastcole.com