Two Poems by Chris Dankland

GETTING HIGH ON THE INTERSTATE

getting high on the interstate
slipping
her head filling with space in the summer heat
crying to Lana del Rey
while the seat belt burns on her bare shoulder
like a confidential devil
50 miles out of town

the car carries her body across the country at incredible speeds
like a wind in the air

you will never get high enough
you will chase everything like a wild bird
there will never be enough liquor or pills or happiness
and you will grind down eventually
tomorrow, or some other day


A DEATH IN THE FAMILY

as she rode in the hearse toward the cemetery
she thought how she should be somehow braver or more stoic
remembering the glass-stained pictures she’d seen so often as a child
of Christian martyrs being burned alive, how their clear patient eyes
had in the last moments turned serenely upward
watching the black smoke of their own flesh slowly fill the sky
but her heart broke when she finally saw the tiny coffin lowered


Profile: Chris Dankland

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