A thirsty soul and an old dog
sit on the steps of Hope 
in Christ Church,
 upon a time
the Burger Queen.

It’s early or late. 
She drives to see her mother. 
At the light, she sees a high school beau
in a rusty pickup at Buckner’s Realty
which used to be the Shoney’s. 
An entanglement of strings
some loose, some taunt looped
in the air on electric poles.
She sees the park, those impatient days 
watching babies pick at blades of grass 
in wonder, her mind on a list
of elegant goals she made
when she was 12, when the city pool
was near the bypass, when
Gentry Apartments were the
tobacco warehouse.
The elementary school now

hollowed out by fires is  
Two Sisters
a tea room hush serving

gazpacho and banana muffins. 
The light turns green. 
She is seventeen and 42.
The world a sacred space,
 the only one that matters.