miles to atlanta

6:54 am

88 miles to Atlanta scrawled on a road sign

temporarily illuminated by automobile spotlights

on an emerald sign accentuated by the 

black construction paper mountains glued to a periwinkle backdrop

his shirt stained with last nights whiskey and last nights sweat

fingers freckled with ancient cigarette burns and childhood sunspots

he stumbles home

7:01 am

88 miles from Atlanta

wondering if a Waffle house, a Walmart, and a Shell station are

all it takes to keep the city that sleeps at the heart of exit 328 content

counting on tired hands 

how many Hampton Inns it might take to 

provide a sense of home to silhouetted residents

burying insecurities and fears in dated church hymns

laying them to rest in open graves without funeral services

7:35 am

88 miles from Atlanta

standing in a field with arms stretched to the angry sky

unsure if tears or rain stream down his face

glassy eyes above empty words that drawl from behind

teeth stained with coffee and words left unsaid

wondering aloud if the distance to heaven is as easily measurable as the 

miles to Atlanta


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