I drove on mountain roads so long that night
the world split off into one dark bend
always slinking past my pool of light
and a wisp of me behind the wheel to tend
to what there was to see, which wasn’t much:
the fireworks emporiums, a sign
here and there—hell is real and such,
cows clumped, trees cartooned by kudzu vine
until, as in a dream, this: spun
my way, a jeep just flipped, its smashed glass
glinting, passengers crawling out stunned.
Cicadas writhing up from warm dirt in May,
I thought, and so I slowed then drove on by.
Fine, I tell myself, thinking back, they were fine.
-Amy Arthur, Birmingham Poetry Review