The Colour of My Spots

Now, if you pitch your little tent along the broad highway

The board of Sanitation says, “Sorry, you can’t stay.”

“Come on, come on, get movin’,” it’s the ever-lasting cry

Can’t stay, can’t go back and can’t migrate so where the hell am I?


I’m in constant motion in one direction






My feet are blistered and cracked clay.

My tongue is dry

cotton in my mouth

from a gin I’ve never seen.


I lost my shoes

and my sense of direction

to a pothole a few miles back.


The salt gnaws at my jeans.

The frigid wind brands my skin in spots

red hammers and scythes

from a place I’ve never seen.


I must be a leopard,

escaped from the zoo,

who dreams of the Amazon.

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Virginia Houk

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