I Come from Indiana


I come from Indiana, where the only thing to eat

is clouds. I was born in a snowstorm, the blizzard of ‘78,

and like snow I come back every year, shaking my hair,

dancing to the slowest music, full of whole notes.

I come from Indiana, where the shoulders of the ground

grow hairy with grasses, where anthills swell up

into heat and the smell of tar shimmering over roofs.

I walk out wearing nothing but a huge coat of corn,

I vanish into the horizon but never leave, like a line

of highway traffic, I throw handfuls of myself into air,

the particles of me gather below streetlights like mayflies,

die in the afternoon then gather again, night after night.

I come from Indiana where faces grow plump in my dreams

like lettuce in soil and good men in towns pour oil

into mowers a few feet from wild deer, sniffing the wind,

hidden behind trees. I come from Indiana, where all the stories

about me are true: the day I stole that policeman’s horse, the day

I drove my Honda blindfolded into a tornado,

the day I spray painted cellar door, cellar door

over and over on my girlfriend’s cellar door until her father

chased me with a burning log into the woods, where he couldn’t find me

because I was making love to his daughter under a bridge in a thunderstorm.

I come from Indiana, and when I’m there I enter the air like a teenager

diving from a boat, the hard blade of his torso slicing the lake

while his mother, out of earshot, calls him home.

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