Dallas Crow


After Linda Gregg’s “Classicism”
and Raymond Carver’s “Romanticism”

Bold as a Union 76 sign, the moon
rises over the state line…

There are no gods in the midwest,
only rough-hewn idols
forged from what we could salvage

or steal, flimsy and palpable
as our lives.

Adolescence, Iowa

“The dogs on Main Street howl
‘cause they understand . . .”
—Bruce Springsteen

The ocean is a rumor, less believable
than the gang bang three classmates
claim they had with a shy girl
you’ve known for years, only
one of them bothering to kiss her.
Mountains are more likely. After all,
Joey O. hasn’t yet reached puberty,
an undisputable locker room fact:
he’s small and bald as the neighbor’s
baby below the waist. Still,
one of the Richland sisters
from Sacred Heart supposedly
gave him a hand job in somebody’s
backseat, using only her thumb
and forefinger. Every river starts
somewhere. Your life savings consist
of 4000 baseball cards, every KISS
album up to Alive II, and a secret
stash of third-hand Playboys.
In the movie theater, her small breast—
clammy in your blind and blessed
hand—has the precise tension
and gravity of a water balloon.