For the Lights of Southwest Roanoke County

by Nathan Friedman

It is a hard place to let go of, here:
land of plenty, sodium-vapor, sweet,
sweeter than liquor, than clear bags of wasps
drowned in yellow syrup that, although full
of their twitching dead, was irresistible.
Such was their hunger. Such is the hunger
that drives bloated tomato worms to strip
whole gardens of their supple cellulose.
Such is the hunger that devours mountains
for the raggedy, leftover, bituminous veins
that light grocery store parking lots
through dark mornings when the feral
creatures, awake, congregate around musky,
calorie-rich dumpsters set back in the weeds.

NATHAN FRIEDMAN grew up in Virginia. His work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, and he is an MFA Candidate at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.