Letter to LCB from Kentucky

July 25, 2008

Thanks for calling me back. It is Illinois on the other side
of your state, it turns out. Funny how even the most local
geographies can be left blank in our minds, like the side
of the bed I don’t sleep on.  I’m almost to the border.
And after that? The map is on the passenger side,
tucked between the bag with truly important papers
and the seat back, and I don’t want to take my eyes off
the road, which keeps unfurling each mile more
grassy, less hilly. Sometimes I think I’m not moving
to a new state, I’m having a 1500 mile sing-along. I’m going
down to Liverpool to remember when I had so much
promise then, it was my wings that made me
want to drive all night. What is the road
but another way to become a song, and isn’t that all
we’ve wanted? I’ve been thinking lately about how
I will explain driving, not like this, to move for a year,
but the way we used to do it, for no reason but to moving
as air and song poured across us, to children I might have.
I’ve been thinking about the way we decide things, big
things, and then take another drink. How we usually only
talk about the big things in small boxes, like the one
this page is making. I hope that job works out. I hope
this job works out, so that in a year I can say
I had to do this, I had to begin in this raw, sudden way.
You know? Can this finally be a story, and not a gap
in the story, a side of the road where we’re all
stalled in the dust of a rainless summer? Of course
we also know that this is also motion, not matter
how it looks or feels, our peculiar form of
road that no one else is seeing yet. Here’s to us,
slipping across the line into the next state.
Say hi to AH for me before you leave OH & take care. SJ

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