Have you ever gone west. On a loaf of bread
and a jar of jam? Sticky. The vinyl of a country
squire station wagon pulling at your sweaty
thighs. Have you ever gone west. Where the streets
are piped fresh with scents made to mask
centuries of systemic racism—they come
in warm waffle cone and fresh fudge. Wild Bill
Hickok is always the hero you lick from cotton-candy
fingers before you pull your toy gun. It’s a long drive
when you’re five. If you’re going west. And a loaf
of bread—white and foam-filled, like damp chewed
gum pressed between your fingers—is always what
is offered to get you to what’s just up ahead. The promise
of a palace made of corn. The heads of dead white dudes
carved on a mountain. You kick the seat continually.
You wonder about the shape and size of the word jackalope.
You lick the glob of grape jelly melting down the seat.
You’re going west. The tarmac steams, a hissing oven.
This trip, a giant loaf of bread stretching on forever.