by Nathaniel Lamers

That summer in the brown Valley when all we ate was smoke
we hid behind our hair till midday found us sprawled
on the lawn shoeless and dead-phoned. If we woke
soft enough to rub our eyes clean we’d drift
placeless along the quiet hours up canyon
roads, lighting bowls to better things.

In the paper-dry Fahrenheit you cut off your sleeves, baring your arms
to walls of collarbones and elbows, sweat drenched music,
a foot out the door to keep the chain of Marlboros going.
You got rowdy and puked, and when we found the car
again you were too fucked up to ride shotgun
so we gave you the wheel and said a prayer.

I was with you when she died on that chaparral highway,
her tape deck rattling against Sharpied-on Kerouac
and cigarette burns as her water pump burst.
We swore in the stale cabin, and I asked
if she might be fixed. You shrugged,
biting again into your dusty apple.

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