A journal of narrative writing.
Renunciation, Texas

Listen to “Renunciation, Texas”
read by Casey Thayer

Iíll go without mentioning Texas,       a state erased, vaguely heart-shaped & too big to fail. In my mind, it swallows you       in red clay dust that sashays the fenders of the Ford you pulled suitcases       & a dog kennel from, finally arriving with just the useless stub       of a bus ticket burned up at the edge of Oklahoma. Iíll write your name a final time.       Farewell strip mall liquor stores we hoarded for whiskey. Farewell empty beer cans       rattling with the butts of Camels, soft packs you crushed under the heel       of a resoled boot. I loved you for nothing but the set of wings scrawled across your back.       You, who perfected quick fingers dealing blackjack at the reservation & washing dishes in the kitchen.       You, who once skewered a scorpion with a tire iron on a highway outside of Reno       & said itís sad for life to be fragmented like this. If only I could store happiness for the day you hang       your Levis on another womanís footboard in a state so large we canít spit across it.       If only I could kick my habit for ranch homes & family photos. Forget him. Keep your skin       once-bitten, a map thatís missing Texas.