On driving through the backwoods of Ohio by John Roth

Time is the accumulation
of all things, only in the way dust whirls through

an abandoned parking lot,
clogs the wheel well of a rusted pickup truck.

Trying to distinguish one noise
from another; a rabble of crows hunched

over on a barbed wire fence, their oil-
dipped beaks & feathers slick with fluorescent,

orange sunlight, the sound
of a car engine whimpering beneath the hood

while the radio drones on
in the background until it becomes a mumble box.

This memory, the red stink
of a fly-smothered deer carcass festering

by the roadside, its grimy fur
stirring with ticks that ripen on sour blood

then burst like a cluster of
pomegranate seeds. How soon the mind recalls

what’s already forgotten.
These neon ghosts flickering in a vacant motel sign.

John Roth
JohnRoth1John Roth is currently enrolled as a first year student in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. His poems have appeared in The Orange Room Review, The Eunoia Review, Toasted Cheese Journal, and Bird’s Thumb, among others.