“Fourth of July,” photograph by Dorothea Lange, 1939.

by Andrew Hemmert

If the places you go become you,
you must account for the drive-through
liquor store housed in the old carwash.
You must account for Steeple Storage
and wholesale Christmas tree lots
in heat-fat July. And if Jesus come into
my heart
is hand-painted and fading
on a sign twine-tied to barbed wire,
well that’s your future as much as it is
your past. But don’t forget the wind entering
the trees like applause. Don’t forget
the patched-up cracks in the road zagging
like pulses on screens, the purple blooms
tunneling through asphalt to offer up
their color. How full the midnight trucks sound
gunning past the big lakes in the dark.

omega man

Andrew Hemmert’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Journal, North American Review, and Southern Humanities Review. He won the 2018 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University and currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.