James Diaz

The Way We Know Things

Your eyes adjust, little one
this cradle is a highway 

your mother knows 
the winding 
of these roads
and the soft kill 
of the fatherland

a poisoned heart

breaking bread
on the asphalt 
behind Pete’s 
abandoned Motel

Prairie Dallas prays for mercy 
in an empty bathtub
what feels like a dark redemption 
coursing through her veins

I don’t regret it
she says to the ceiling 

her boy is playing in the headlights
of a stranger’s car 
by the road to nowhere 

wind blows 
through a paper bag world
and the evening news says 
brighter days are ahead

most of us 
have to work a little harder 
for that kinda light.

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