Too much of anything is better than Milwaukee's Bestwhen the first snow hits in November and I'm already sickof winter, when it's stone dark by five, when the country roadsare lettered and empty and I should have obeyed the instructions,should have turned around, should have done it all right,every road swerves and twists and with each little townI have to stop and squint at the atlas, astonished when somehowI find them all on the map, somehow each turn brings me closerto the pretty clerk in the low-cut blouse who will hand methe key card with a smile like the deluxe continental breakfast,somehow not a single deer pops sudden and solid into my headlights,and the aching ball joint holds through each and every curve,and there's room in the ditches for a lot more empties—not thatI'm drinking—and I keep glimpsing water along the road,glints and shivers of light and the roads curving among themas I sweep through darkness, and I am never truly lost,not after the late moon rises in the east like God's thumbnail,like a medallion of embossed paper torn carefully in half.
Jeff Gundy is the author of Somewhere Near Defiance (poems) and Songs from an Empty Cage (essays). He teaches at Bluffton University in Ohio.
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