I Drive You Through Mosquito Truck Spray by Seth Pennington


Looking for where we can’t be
seen, cruising through the one stop light,

our shirts stick to the damp caught
between our shoulders and the seat back.

I drive you through mosquito truck spray,
that dust that blows out the southern sun.

I roll up the windows and turn off the air,
say, don’t breathe, don’t breathe that in.

Next to the soy field-cum-golf course,
I park in the poor part of the city

cemetery, where if luck holds you, maybe
you might have a white stone, but your name’s

a gone thing, washed so each stone is soap clean.
In high school it was brave to drink with the dead.

Kissing over them was a sure
curse, one no one had ever heard said.

Across the highway, MFA Oil is a bleached desert,
save the moths ecstatic and strobing in the far light. You keep

staring into their nervous pulse.
I am making promises into your neck and lay

back your seat to a deep song, the engine
off but panting, steaming the sudden dewfall

so it rises through the magnolia air
and makes clouds that tomorrow we’ll drink like moonshine

and remember what power
we have to take a place, the boneyards of our youths,

to wreck all those deaths until what we taste
in the hot night is not sour, but our own thrill.


SETH PENNINGTON lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he is publisher/ designer at Sibling Rivalry Press with his husband, Bryan Borland. He co-edited Joy Exhaustible and Assaracus, and has new poetry forthcoming in Lunch and Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos.