The Ghost Town I Live In
Has Signs That Say Keep Out

Jennifer Understahl

The one gas station attendant
shines his pump. I love no one

right now. It’s that easy
to get by here.

Night skies
are very dangerous—
too close.

It’s not nice to lock your door.

When the streets flood
I walk barefoot. The water

moccasins drip from trees.
No one weighs me down—

             my leisurely arms.

Prairie dogs alert one another
when I approach their yellow fields,

balding grass. A livestock train 
takes its time—

metal sections trying to close
their gaps. Click, click, click...

If I stay away from idle conversations,
I will not grow old.

The graveyard has a picket fence.
Each cross leans
its own way. Scattered

leaves. When I pray
I feel guilty for kissing

myself in the mirror,
having tea with propped-up skeletons.

The first one you love,
throw him back. Throw him.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
CURRENT ISSUE
PAST ISSUES
SUBMISSIONS
CONTEST
ABOUT THE GR



ABOUT THE AUTHOR.


JENNIFER UNDERSTAHL is a graduate of the MFA program at Arizona State University. She lives and teaches in Phoenix, AZ.