Poets Desk: Last Chance, Colorado
This town has more ghosts than burger joints,
my Dad observes, on the straight-
shot down to Last Chance,
road belting into the fallen grass-
land of grit, of shithouse radio
and the white noise grainy on
our cruddy kitchen sinks.
We stop at Rosie’s to cream and sugar
our coffee to excess. There’s a petroleum
aftertaste in our mouths.
I look around for ghosts:
a signal crosses over on the TV
in a thrum of gnats, the smokestacks radiating
exhaust from the backfield, sunflowers slicing
their petals through the half-mirage sky.
The waitress coughs,
a semiautomatic sputtering
sharp enough to hack through chickweed
closing its leaves before rain.
Then Colorado closes like a last chance
if I have to watch
her exhale another bleeding cigarette
I might never make it
out of this smoky recoil.
Dad’s hands leave imprints on the check
And the grease on the counter is only a ghost, too.