There’s a moon and the night is clear. I find a straw hat lying on the grass. A roving band of delinquents may have beaten a farmer to death with the farmer’s own hoe. It happens. For example, my mother’s side of the family doesn’t exist anymore. Someone killed them all – had them gassed, shot, hanged, injected. I can’t think about it too much without feeling I’m meeting the person I might have been. Drunks passing in pickups yell shit at him. That’s America. The heart isn’t just empty, but abandoned.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.