TX, LA, MS, AL, Georgia—and love

I left Texas. Behind me now, her bridges high and the flirting tanker ships below, her refineries the monster oil cities smoking and twinkling in sweet perfume, and her belly lands flattened by the wind that tumbles the weeds and hardens cowboy hearts. Texas proud. And yet there in her little canyons and dry creek bottoms is her insecurity, her fragility, her courage, her sweetness—her surface cracked by many tears and stamped down by those who promised to stay but didn’t—and so Texas cast her true self out into the nowhere rangeland where no one would see. No one but me.

Louisiana the vampire’s mistress, shrouded in mossy lace and laid down to die beneath the cypress trees, her wine blood seeping from her marble mausoleum; and if she is dead I do not know, but only feel that she was here once, dancing under the moon with her sweet-tea smile, serenading the immortals. tweet

I could have loved her, but I could wait no longer for her warmth, her affection. Perhaps we shall meet again in the spring when her fields are covered in wildflowers under a brighter sun.

Interstate 10 is a string of pearls into the east, the white centerline dashed and reflecting the headlight, and I tug at it pulling myself ahead. A Louisiana black-water night, brackish and charcoaled and the pearls my only connection to the world, or I might become the void itself—and this is scary, dear, I know, when passions so long dormant and protected begin moving again.

I roll down the window and blush pink the cheeks, that rushing wind and even here it is cold, but portending mystery. Louisiana the vampire’s mistress, shrouded in mossy lace and laid down to die beneath the cypress trees, her wine blood seeping from her marble mausoleum; and if she is dead I do not know, but only feel that she was here once, dancing under the moon with her sweet-tea smile, serenading the immortals.

Louisiana, I leave her too; my romance is no use to her now.

In Alabama there is one star pulsing, stuck up there like the last raindrop ever to fall and still stick, for a moment mirroring some hidden brightness, winking at me to take this chance before it goes. This is the Star of What Might Be. tweet

Mississippi moves too fast but I understand her having been that way once myself. And Alabama might flash by too, yet I pause and she reminds me my patience.

In Alabama there is one star pulsing, stuck up there like the last raindrop ever to fall and still stick, for a moment mirroring some hidden brightness, winking at me to take this chance before it goes. This is the Star of What Might Be.

My heart fills with hope and I know then that Alabama is taking my hand and introducing me to Georgia. And now, with real suddenness, I know—that there are no borders, for they all were the same woman, and the pearls her necklace wrapping all around, showing me her soft curves and the sex and beauty of her everything; her tender flaws, her shaded fears, her laughing shoulders, her heart wishing me to hold it.

It is in the peach groves of Georgia, beneath the robin-egg sky and whipped-cream clouds, where men go to hug their women and love them. Now I go there too.

  • Dana stovall says:

    As it happens i am driving next to you through panama city florida. while i am dictating this to my phone. i am intrigued by your writings and look forward to reading some of them tonight.

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