to love in a small town

By: Isobel Li

there is a place of endless sky
where the stolid road stretches beneath your feet

this is where the defeated freeway ends,
where you take a left
into a town of stillness and sunshine
because there’s no other option,
where hunched-over trees tangle with the young
and ivy climbs up aged white farmhouses
with west-facing windows that shine in the evenings,
where the only tangible traces of their occupants
are gently rocking porch swings and well-fed cattle,
where the perpetually empty bleachers at the high school
might even prop up the clouds

nature nurtures this isolation
Helios drags gold-lit fingertips across dusty paths and
cinnamon-flavored raindrops smack the ground and
lonesome children scatter dandelion daydreams

on a map, there is nothing
half abandoned lots in a half abandoned town
and the dying breaths of industrialization
standing here, gravel breeze sanding your face
there is something:
a sprinkling of lovers, who rest and rise
with the sun day by day, night by night
with love like a half-life