Jamal/Jolene, Justin/Juliet
Word play like the horizon, all morning talking gibberish to myself, in the
car later singing Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, or the oxide morning shrouds
a thousand bloated car lanes in my direction, all day saying to myself:

hello… I am good enough,
though Jamal stands disjointed, a head shorter then myself, look
down to look him in the eye, smile, because my scowl scares people

deeply, I have learned, and I watch him write words on paper, watch
his ring sing on knuckles. Watch future, watch past, like a movie, answer
quips and questions, bark at closed doors like skittish dogs, later on

the way home, fanning fingers before face, singing Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
later bake skin in the sun, sink into colder concrete, beach towels without
water, without words, read books, think of days and days and days,

and Justin stares my legs down while wandering as I do, says nothing,
neither of us, saying don't take myself away from you, singing Jolene,
Jolene, Jolene
, all night in the hazy afterglow, cotton swell,

blooming tide. Thinking distance is like resistance; make the separation
impenetrable, he will crave me like songs in the car, distraction from
all other noises, having a pension, as I do, to fall in love with the agony

of all things forbidden to me. Watch the buds burst broken stems up from
grassy outlets, large scale trucks, thinking Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, someone
drinking again, thinking I would like to hop on a plane again to

visit Wild Bill Hickok grave in South Dakota, smell the dust rusted on
my teeth, and she said to not compete with anyone, though circumference
is frank, thankless, awkward, a spark of ice in a stifling room, waiting,

hands folded to the lap, eye darts, thinks, wanders, mind sings to itself,
the four of us, a bitter quartet of wasted grief.


a/n: 'Jolene' as originally sung by Dolly Parton.