88 THE MISSOURI REVIEW • SUMMER 2019
small-town fear. A boy
dragged behind a truck
was in the news.
I didn’t want to be the news.
Bluff no helicopter can reach when the suicidal leap,
posted with a sign: no trespassing;
bluff haunted even in daylight;
King’s Bluff, where I got laid, or said I got laid;
bluff of the tourism slogan “Gateway to the New South”;
bluff of the backward glance,
of our youth pastor saying I’ll jump (not a bluff).
This other misdirection—
I’ve slept my way into so many rooms.
Marriage den, motel of my affair.
And it was never about the greasy,
incessant need of two people
fucking only for lust.
When I felt alone, there was always
a man or woman ready
to deadbolt the door behind us
for an hour, to give or receive,
then leave with nothing.
Cherry pits, an empty bottle of wine.