Booksmart – Poem

Woman, Custer,

Kentucky, 1999
By Robert L. Penick

She tosses her hair behind her,
then offers her face to the sun’s imprint.
Leans back against the trunk of a
rusted-red Chevrolet.
Perhaps sunlight will preserve
both metal and bone.
Parking lot of a
franchise gas station.
Fuel and cigarettes, donuts, coffee.
Perhaps air for the tires.
Out back, among weeds and cans,
the sign on the compressor reads
“Quarters only.”

Inside the station a man long debates
over the price of wiper blades.
His wife loiters, feels her bones
grow warm, something flowing,
a bonding with light.

Book Smart Challenge
Entries — either flash fiction or poetry — should be no more than 325 words. The deadline is the first business day of each month (for work to be published later that month). Contestants may submit up to three entries per month. LEO reserves the right to publish any submitted work in print and online. Please do not send originals; work will not be returned. Send entries to [email protected], with “Book Smart Challenge” in the subject line, or mail to LEO, Book Smart Challenge, 640 S. Fourth St., Ste. 100, Louisville, Ky., 40202.