Returning just in time for the whine of the coal car switch,
She’d smack that annoying June Nazarene who
makes her play a Lazarus--
conjured from the south
up familiar sandpaper stairs.
Wading in sudden,
she re-lives to see a body unlike her recalls which
live tan, wick, and brutish in old t-shirts
under a two years younger sun--
Now spider-bagged beneath his eyes, slack
in a button-down making his shoulders droop.
Her bored tongue rattles for an hour
at grocery aisle anecdotes. Half stories
living beyond the hardwood root-line
with shore birds tracing the swivel of turtle tracks--
He’s asked her up in the heavy weather,
the day wet houses balloon on windshields
and kudzu spreads fast as hurt--
But he only retorts in turnstile about spaghetti,
bad plays, and a rotten gut
which now even willow bark cannot relieve.
In April 2011 Amanda-Gaye Smith was broke and desperate for adventure. To ease this she left the Blue Ridge Mountains on a Virginia Creeper-like path around highway overpasses down the Southeast coast for the swamps and cypress knees of Gainesville, Florida.