by Daniel Saalfeld

Texas is a dream to be driving
through if you need nothing more
than to lessen your mind’s load.

You’ll see grass and cattle and flat
open sexy land for as long as you want
to stay out of its cities.

Manhattan (not Kansas) is a different
place to forget about things.
You won’t want a car to ease yourself

in, just a good pair of shoes
and a lightweight linen pant,
perhaps, in the summer with a cool

shirt of your choice to cruise
the galleries, bars, and parks.
Passive literature is provided

in the subways and on the streets
to remind you of your appetite,
ancestry, and libido.

And then there are people
slithering up and down
stairs, out of town houses,

into cars, cafés, and coiffeurs—
lives to forget about
your own on a leisurely stroll.

As a Fulbright Scholar for the 2006-2007 academic year, Daniel Saalfeld lectured on modern and contemporary American poetry and creative writing at Volgograd State University in Russia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North Carolina Literary Review, South Dakota Review, The Southeast Review, Poet Lore, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Seattle Review. In the U.S., he teaches at The Catholic University of America and The University of Maryland.