Gannon Fling Don’t Mean a Thing

Erie, PA. In the end, I could not
debate away my future, never would win
any argument with this fear
of exclamation

points. You make a living
so well punctuated. I peel off
vices the way we tried them on
for size—a joint in those woods behind
our junior high, a messed-up mixology
with your father’s liquor
in your basement. Slow to get them, suddenly
shoulders drop to lean into it. I rediscover
aftertaste in a name—sour, bitter, could have been
sweet. The jingle was yours. How could we

have known I would end up holding
all the question mark sickles
in my stiffened fists
so many road trips later?