down, man. My brain is not an egg crackling in a frying pan. It’s a handle bag sat on the car seat next to me, so full of 5-layer burritos and crunchwraps and other such slapdickery it triggers the airbag sensor. My free hand always loves the warmth of that bag’s lap as we drive away from the window, nothing but straight roads ahead, and “Passenger” on loop. Let the street lights fade. Even in this flat dark, we know all the cows are laying down along the highway. Seeing it wouldn’t change the truth of this heavy bag, or shorten my trip one bit. Not as long as the stereo’s working and Chino has enough air to keep screaming.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in HAD, Rejection Letters, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, saltfront, and other journals. His latest collection is Color All Maps New (Mercer University Press, 2021). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.
image: MM Kaufman