Triadelphia, WV, poem by Jay Sizemore

The hotel room seems damp—
cold as the West Virginia sky,
a certain kind of humidity
left behind in the empty space
that light can never fill
and that only the nostrils
can interpret as moisture
in the atmosphere of green carpet
and comforters. I’m wearing
my blue jean jacket, the one
with the Grateful Dead pin,
and this second skin of denim
isn’t enough to fight off
the chill.

These people stare at me
as if they have never seen a man
who doesn’t enjoy haircuts,
who doesn’t comb his face
with a wagon wheel,
who doesn’t have the confederate
flag tattooed on his heart
like a stubborn crown of thorns,
but their accents say
that history will soon learn
its place is in the books
and not on the bumper stickers
of rusted out Fords.

After four beers I don’t care,
I start to wish that I had
asked out the waitress
at the Olive Garden,
whose black hair and imperfect
teeth struck me as honest
and beautiful.
I start to wonder how
I’ll ever fill eight more hours
with conversation
when the first leg
of the voyage turned into
summarizing the billboards
after only four hours
and listening to Jerry Garcia
smother the silence with raspy
tunes from beyond the grave.

These country roads
look more like Interstates
that lead to adventures disguised
as job interviews
surrounded by leaveless trees,
coal mines, and houses built
like patchwork quilts,
as the sun continues to set
right on schedule
and the loneliness of bare walls
seems like a reflection
of my dreamless self,
but I know these same highways
will lead me home
as soon as I turn around
and go back the way I came.

sizemoreJay Sizemore brought the high-five out of retirement. He still sings Ryan Adams songs in the shower. Sometimes, he massages his wife’s feet. His work has appeared online and in print with magazines such as Rattle, Prick of the Spindle, Revolution John, Menacing Hedge, and Still: The Journal. He’s never won an award. Currently, he lives in Nashville, TN, home of the death of modern music. His chapbook Father Figures is available on Amazon.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *