Follow the serpentine river roads
toward the Little Miami’s lip. Pass through
the sycamore trunks, their whitewashed
limbs. See how they molt their skins.
These are curves I can still ride harder
than a man’s hips, roads my parents
never knew I drove. Feel that wind,
saturated, undercut with vespertine
chill. Let it frizz your hair. Turn up
the Smashing Pumpkins or the Cowboy
Junkies. That’s river musk on your teeth.
See how the lightning bugs burn their bulbs
just ahead? In the rearview, bats unstitch
your wake. Now the humming bridge
in your fingertips and thighs. It’ll carry
your weight ten thousand times. Learn
that darkening vein underneath, how
it pushes and pushes toward main stem
waters, toward a surefire way out of here.
Corinna McClanahan Schroeder is currently a PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Tampa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cave Wall, and Linebreak, and she is the recipient of a 2010 AWP Intro Journals Award in poetry. She received her MFA from the Universtiy of Mississippi where she received a John and Renée Grisham Fellowship.