heading north

on the cocaine superhighway

coming out of jellico tennessee

there’s a four story white cross

made from squared vinyl siding

nestled amidst pregnant mountains

.

 a liquor store

a discount tobacco mart

and porntorium

two exits away

from stinking creek road

.

as you cross over

the Kentucky/Tennessee

state line into whitley county

there is a guard rail

signed

by couples

who’ve run off to elope

in the state

that gave the world

jack daniels whiskey

and a black velvet king

.

i stopped countin’ when i saw my mama’s name the fourth time

she’s where i get

all my southern optimism from

.