Two months before you leave
in a Chicago gas station,
you flash your brother’s ID
and buy a twelve pack of Budweiser. Tins of Grizzly dip.
Back in the car I open a bag of corn chips
and fling them one by one out the window.
Kids sliding down frozen driveways
on the lids of garbage cans, and
we do not belong here
wrapped in all the old coats we could find,
you still wearing boots and a cowboy hat,
spitting up black phlegm into an empty water bottle.
You show me cell phone pictures
of your naked ex
and joke about her tits. I smile
and don’t say anything.
The next morning, late and drunk to the airport,
you sleep the whole flight through.
Sweating out the booze, sweating out the dip.
Sweating out the tattoo across your shoulder,
the odors of Texas: limestone, dry earth,
itching stink of Bullnettle,
the desert cracked and shimmering, the stars
glittering like crushed beetles.
Dawn coils fat around the plane. Something
embryonic and swelling
wrenches itself from your body.
Looms toothless and hungry over you.
you line the cold metal
blade against your scalp