Sandals remember the afternoons
in pale stripes across bald red feet.
Everyone is looking for shoes
that fit. The mailman is deciding
What kind of beer to drink tonight.
Shiner? he asks. We are both looking
for some kind of permission.
The air should need permission to sit
this still. Summer bodies are relief maps.
Four creeks join forces below
my kneecap. Here is where
the crop duster sprays.
There is where the child
wearing blue jeans drowned.
There is where the sidewalk buckles.
This is how skin grows back.
This is how the roads
roll over, make new lines across
your hands. Some maps wait
their whole lives for something to happen.
Some people trace the same route for years.
The mailman is never on time.
Some months never end. You wear them
like a tattoo that no one can stop
mentioning. Where does a tattoo needle
draw the most pain? I think the inner
thigh, the damp knee pit or between
the toes. Do you have a home
that no one can find?
Tattoo a compass on your chest.
Make sure it is pointing
in the right direction.