Soak up summer perdition
As pickups trundle through the doughy air,
Coughing out exhaust and Willie Nelson.
A lone magnolia tree stands at the center
Of a field choked with cotton spores.
It quotes Faulkner
While the field quotes Wright
And the mockingbird in the magnolia's boughs
Quotes them both.
A deer heavy with unshed velvet
Wanders a flagless state
Blissfully aware of the kudzu and muskodine
Oblivious to the invisible predators stalking it
With constitutional practicalities in their hands.
I sit alone on my porch in suburban Mississippi
And pretend to know these things
Because poets learn to lie
When painting pictures.