I sit at a rest stop in Texas,
Nestled on the knees of tree roots—
My grandmother spat my mother
Across the river & that familiar water hums
In my skin. Her heart is a gentle
Devil chewing on my shoulder.
I listen to the grating of 18 wheelers
Sliding to a stop. My great uncle told me of pressing
Himself under a floorboard, against the heated metal of the van.
That it still hissed in his chest. He starved himself
From handcuffs, his thumb
Disfigured from being dislocated againagainagain.
Do we all go alone? Is that the way we share
My hands are soft, it is my heels that are hard.
While I kneel in the dirt, my grandmother promises
Please, would you listen to the way the wind
Sings in my hair?
The same as the grass
Nicole (Niky) McCaffety is a poet currently living and writing in Columbia, South Carolina