West of Harlingen

By Clyde Kessler

I ain’t traveling through fires,
ain’t strutting across an ember bed,
singing righteousness, and heaven
take me. I ain’t skinning storm warnings
from the radio, just slugging all the stations
wanting a blues song, wanting this three a.m.
to razz some lightning across the eyes of toads
in the irrigation ditch, where some kooky child
drowned, and whisked his ghost into the news,
even when I don’t want to learn more, even when
the ditch is dry and a mile of thistle stalks rares up
in flames. I ain’t ever traveling there.


Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia., with his wife, Kendall, and their son, Alan. They have an art studio in their home called Towhee Hill.


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