Another Arkansas

Taylor Greene

There’s a singing cowboy riding by

on top of his van, you can hear a dog

howling in the distance as someone’s

daughter asks you to dance in the moonlight

on top of a cotton bale—our own

moon landing she says with a southern

fall wind whipping her hair to and fro;

these crossroads extend far and straight

for as long as you can see,

and someone’s son is telling you to kiss

him in the sunlight between the power

pole and his family cemetery—his

daddy is buried there but you don’t care,

the oaks in the graveyard are tall

and green; you wonder how many generations

of bone and body have fed them;

that dog is back again growling at your

hand, you only want to pet it but teeth are

a sign—you shouldn’t even want to

but sometimes you put your hand in

an angry dog’s mouth just to feel it bite

and that cowboy laughs as you swear,

he sounds like the first songbird of summer.

About the Author

Taylor Greene is an archaeologist living in Mississippi. His work is largely inspired by his lived experience in, and the nature of, the American South. You can find his work elsewhere in Coven Poetry, The Bitchin' Kitsch, the tide rises, and The Cryptonaturalist Podcast. You can find him online @vert_archy.