Fall2017Poetry

Chicken Bones and Budget Cuts in Pennsylvania – Nicole Santalucia

I live between a Kentucky Fried Chicken
and a Red Devil gas station
between panic and pregnant teenagers
between the turnpike and Rt. 81.
The off-ramps twist like an obstructed intestine
and the elephants at the tollbooth toss quarters,
make a wish then head to the sex shop or truck wash.
These elephants get dizzy on their way to the elephant parade
that stops in front of my house on Sunday mornings.

A blue elephant with orange wisps of hair
stops at the Red Devil to fill up on red and devil.
He liters—there’s pile of needles on the side of the road.
This beast tosses everything in the gutter.

Pennsylvania is overflowing with chicken bones
and thirsty elephants and sour beef and respiratory disease
and underfunded schools.

 


 

Author Bio: Nicole Santalucia is the author of Because I Did Not Die (Bordighera Press). She is a recipient of the Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Prize Magazine and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Cincinnati ReviewRadarThe Boiler JournalHawaii Pacific ReviewTINGE MagazinePittsburgh Poetry ReviewGertrudeZocalo Public Square as well as numerous other journals. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and brings poetry workshops into the Cumberland County Prison, Shippensburg Public Library, Boys & Girls Club, and local nursing homes.

The author: zlis@iastate.edu