for julianna


it’s hard not to make up stories
about empty places—

i can take you down the Sunfield road
and lie to you for hours.

that’s real Michigan, after all—
cherry pie, the maw of the abyss,
the kind of thing i wish you understood.

but Sunfield’s fine, it’s a place for small dreams
and i have small dreams—
no ambition whatsoever.


i remember the last thing i wanted—
it was years ago, and i had it for a while

but you know how life can be—

the way a person’s made—
life gets away from you
for a while.

that starry night in Asheville
the campsite—do you remember?—

the one above the freeway,
i knew then.


even my words are smaller.

i tell myself: let me write
an ode to so and so

and i think of her name—

could i possibly add?


i was going to write this too:
that i need to be where
no one can find me,

but you know as well as i do—

i already am.

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