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Gary Carter

Hear Her Hellbent Leaving

what can you really say about a lanky lovely girl
who invites you home where you discover
in the ratty bedroom only a rumpled sleeping bag
snuggled close to a gutted chevy engine
with every scattered part duly noted & numbered
in order that one day soon she will return
every nut bolt part & pulley to its rightful place
before jamming the greasy hulk
into a down & out camaro ragtop
still somewhat metallic blue but leaning toward rust
that will propel her down the highway & in her words
out of this shit town toward neon dreams of a kick-ass life
where nothing is improbable
everything is possible & hell hath no fury
like a small-town girl chasing big-city dreams

tell you what you can say:

you say go kick the living shit out of life
take everything you want until the day you roar back
into this little town to make the rounds
tell everyone in no uncertain terms to kiss your sweet ass
& then blast back out laughing like a crazy banshee
hellbent toward the sun & whatever is over the horizon

roll on sweet mama pedal to the floor

make that engine moan


Gary Carter believes pushing words around until they sometimes make sense seems to make sense, and it’s too late to stop now. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in such eclectic outlets as Nashville Review, Deep South Magazine, Steel Toe Review, Dead Mule, The Voices Project, Silver Birch, Real South, Delta Poetry Review and Read Short Fiction. Forthcoming is a collection of short fiction entitled Kicking Dante’s Ass, and a new novel, Not Dark Yet, is making the rounds. Based in North Carolina, he also sells a little real estate on the side.

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