Philip Rosenthal  © 2009 All Rights Reserved

Indiana Was a Hat I Wore As a Kid

It just barely sat on my head.

I looked like a bird back then and

everyone I knew would say things like

ďYou look like a bird, what do you

think of that?Ē

I never knew what to think.

But I remember making out with my girlfriend,

in corn fields, trying to wedge my hand

down her pants.

Also, there was another girl who took off

her shirt under some giant pine trees.

Of course, they werenít giant pine trees.

This was near an abandoned barn.

Thatís where we found a mouse once and trapped

it in a lunchbox.

I was getting older all the time

but I felt like a BMX bike.





Indiana was her bellyís name.

Indiana was the name of the sun room.

We called the map Indiana.

We called the clouds Indiana.

We sat around smoking pot that looked like Indiana.

All of us, to some degree, felt Indiana.

I remember frozen lakes that were Indiana.

I remember a hockey stick made of Indiana.

There were Indiana bra straps.

There were big brothers who were really big Indianas.

As if wildly spinning a wheel, Indiana was off the road.

I lived at 2111 Indiana.

Indiana called and called, like a lost whale.

All the while, in an endless sleepover, I kept waking

up to Indiana, starstruck.




Little Things That Are True

There is no dirt track in Indiana that hasnít been ridden by my brother.

There is no GE plant in Indiana that my father hasnít worked in.

There is no pond in Indiana that is not the pond of Jason Mattihas.

I have heard of other dirt tracks and GE plants and ponds.

I know of other things that are happening in the world and yet I canít seem

to place them.

There was no book, but the book in Indiana. The book in Indiana was a hundred

books. Or, the book in Indiana was the book in Indiana.

After all, Iím not Wallace Stevens.

I have other ideas but, the thing that gets me is closer to home.

I can feel the wings growing from my back.



Peter Davis
Copyright © 2009

Peter Davisí book of poetry is Hitlerís Mustache and he edited Poetís Bookshelf: Contemporary Poets on Books that Shaped Their Art. Heís got poems forthcoming in Jacket, Nashville Is Reads, and Forklift, Ohio. He lives in Muncie, IN, with his wife and two beautiful kids and teaches at Ball State University. 

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