dad smokes outside West Ridge cafe
friday nights at ten
after coffee, two creams no sugar
shelf burritos and twizzler sticks
gone hard and cold at our corner table

the sun sets chalk-eyed
and only the river’s letting loose her hair,
the strong curl of a night storm.
it’s quiet and

i’m thinking about giving Colorado a go
turning seventeen away from home

lake swimming and being drowned
in house party noise until four a.m.,
smoke sticking to the air like dad’s
_____long pale breath trailing outside
_____he kicks snow against a tire rim

in the mountains i’d drive a truck up lost gulch, losing
service to call home,     tell dad to get out more
maybe tell him i’m also lonely in passenger seats but Aurora

& Runaway shake the car stereo and it’s like we’re best friends
young and maybe even something
to each other when she whispers but i kept running
for a soft place to fall

the Chautauqua tree hues
lush me in green like
his rusted coffee mug     maybe
suburbia would remind me of his
thrift store belt buckle
_____cold silver in Alaskan wind

people say i’m lost dreaming but when i’m gone
dad & silent winter town–i’ll wonder
_____were you losing when i took off running
_____for everything you couldn’t see?

it’s hazy in the dark     maybe
because i’m crying under my overhead lights or
the fog is thicker some nights and right now

i’m not sure mother nature has any daughters so i’ll always
tell you how the sky looks, it’s
a mirror of our first songs written under the moon, purple and
warm speckled smolder
_____i’m just seeing now
_____why you named me a star and i’ll be
_____home soon to tell it all to you.

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