Brett Jenkins

We were watching the Mets

in his apartment that night:

2 strikes,

2 balls.

Men running around

in real tight pants,

so it was no accident

what happened next—

he hadn't had his

"rite of passage" yet,

is what he said,

so I wasn't surprised

when he performed like a robot.

I stayed awake until

four, when I could finally

hear him snoring,

and snuck out the back door,

running until I was home safe.

Brett Jenkins

Indiana is our own brick-house

prison of suburbs, green trees,

one-way streets over flat land

not too much higher than sea level,

yet not very close to the sea.

At night I map out

escape plans in intricate maps on your back:

plane rides and bus tickets and stolen Toyotas.

We sleep in back seats in Maine,

sneak into theaters in New York,

fall asleep to the music of the train whistle

and passively dream our way

to the west coast.

Now we are in a dark, quiet

bar in Houston,

we cannot see our waitress's

face. An old blues song

plays on the jukebox

and we make plans to someday return

to the tree-lined

flat grass of Indiana, because

now we know

we don't have to live there.

Brett Jenkins will receive her MFA from Bennington College's Writing Seminars in 2010, when she will either get a job or play lots of racquetball.

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