Last Seen Leaving by Laura Ring

Stay off the back roads, Beynon says.
We do not listen. We eat the roads
and the roads eat us – swallow us
like a gullet so we forget.

We want to ride the velvet maw forever –
brushed by bronchioles of northern pine,
the muscled tongue of riverbeds. We are blind
to landmarks: Molly Supple Hill, Bear Swamp

ghosted, empty of reference. We press
our cheeks against granite molars, cool,
carved out of mountains. Lick the water
that falls like tears off lichen-patched rock.

The Folk will try to trick you, he says.
With fruit trees, or a bird with a broken wing
and you’ll be lost.
The road is a marrow bone.
We suck in mile after reticular mile.

Stripped of street signs and last names,
we are innocent of home. The road swirls us
under its nose. How gladly we dance,
like wine legs on the curved bell of a cup.


Laura Ring is a poet, short story writer, anthropologist, and librarian. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dream Pop Journal, Ethel Zine, and RHINO, and she was a recent finalist in the DIAGRAM, Sundress, and Tiny Fork chapbook contests. A native Vermonter, she lives in Chicago.

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