The Green Place

“It’s called The Green Place,”
I cried to her between bus stops,
“It tastes like Yuengling and feels like
A polite hiccup at your parents’ dinner table.
It’s somewhere in Pennsylvania,
It’s a highway divider and a strip mall,
It’s down a public school hall,
It smells like cut grass—kisses like a quiet prom queen.”
Oh my. Wow.
She is a waitress at Applebee’s now,
Still as beautiful as they day she made eyes at me in Calculus
While old man Gerhart said something about
Bruce Springsteen, or Paul McCartney, or Feynman’s Rainbow
(You can see all the colors in it somehow,
The in-between emotions of a serenade by cricket)
You can never know all that you don’t know
Except in quantum states of awake-fulness,
In the pain of the commuting brake pedal:
Please God, get me there.
Please God, for my son.

I hope there are some of you who understand
Without me having to tell you.
I hope that you are having six-pack Sundays
Somewhere happier than here,
Or watching the dollar counter rise in a blue gas station—
Anything pleasanter than lying in bed.
But if you are, don’t wait for the alarm
Don’t wake at first light.
The mist has already settled, it will wait for you.
The work truck wheels are already streaked
In oil and tar
They smell like they have been cooled under slumbering power lines
Polished by the softness of stars—
(They were out for somebody, but probably not you)
And now you’ve got a Diet Mountain Dew
And you’re off to another day of marveling at
Earth’s beauty, but don’t let the wheat fields’ fallowness
Steal the joy from your cheeks.
Rise and shine.
It is one more day that still strikes you as maybe memorable.

Nolan Boyer is a writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He does his best to be honest and unshowy, to compensate for his younger, more florid days. He loves the works of William Shakespeare, and in another life would have devoted his life to acting, especially of the Shakespearean variety. Of late, he is most influenced by Herman Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut, and Charles Bukowski.

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