the museum of americana

a literary review

Goin’ Nowhere — Poetry by Kristie Betts Letter

          Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
          Down into the easy chair.
               (Bob Dylan, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”)
 

The flat metal nowhere of the Atlantic spreads ahead and Atlantic City spreads
behind. It took the tickets, the raffle, the spread, above the line, below the line. Hot
tailgate cools in salt air and doors click metal. Our brides wait and we said it’s okay,
baby, telling them about that sweet chair. It’s coming. We just can’t lose that
Genghis Khan thing, that children in every corner of the kingdom thing and that stay
up all night long without blinking thing. Just a few hours ago a lady with sleepy eyes
and blue spangles had an extra long grip on the Jack. The flat-white ferry runs so
early we’re still shaking night off, blinking away lights and spangles. Breathing
smoke into salt air. The seagulls wheeling and dealing pull us up, keep us steady—
the world thumps, but only if we know where to press our ears.

 

~ ~ ~

Kristie Letter photoKristie Betts Letter has won several teaching awards for forcing Hamlet on high school seniors. Her work has been published in The Massachusetts Review, The North Dakota Quarterly, Washington Square, Passages North, and The Southern Humanities Review (among others) and her novel Snow and White was just picked up by KT Literary. She loves Bob Dylan’s singing voice and plays a mean game of pub trivia. Her website is kristiebettsletter.com