In the heat of the night


It’s eighty-nine degrees
at seven seventeen

and custom-killing whale
of a Rod Steiger
cum Gillespie
screeches the UniRoyals
of his big ole Cadillac,

offramping
sixty-eight miles per hour,
Highway 301 South,
Edisto Drive
past his slaughterhouse
Piggly Wiggly billboard

like broken broomhandles
used to jab at burgeoning pecans

in the trailer park
behind the fluorescent
Palmetto Motel
two-bit modern-day plantation.

I am statuesque
AC blasting high

first Jacqueline Keitt
then Demetrius Lockhart

as precursor braided
Snoop Doggy Dog
downshifting worn clutch
lopes uphill

afar unmapped dusty
billowed backroad

vampiric maddogs
neck-hungry
dead meat barbecue stick

heated under the dog collar

Towel off neon motel
dive pool sink

Dolores small talks
winky eye

forty miles to
Columbia,
Sambo's
three o'clock a.m.