Jason Baldinger: “these blue veins (for lilly portage)”

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these blue veins (for lilly portage)

there’s a copy
of leaves of grass
aging in the back window
of my saturn, cover now
sunbleached, dog-eared
torn, well toned
with car windows down
pages wriggle free
to blow in the wind
of interstate america

I brought walt along
for ceremony in 2012
on day two of 75
cross country travels
getting down to the real
america wherever

on morning two
with reverend copilot
in that green corner
neighbor of the lake, harliegh cemetery
we read whitman at whitman
while he brushes whisps
of the civil war’s hair

I tramp a perpetual journey
look for the soul in these eyes
this lost nation
looking for myself
in the mirrors of maps
strewn across front seat

walt has traveled with me since
a talisman for luck on these
endless miles where anything
is a moment lost in the weight
of every other moment
where every city fades
in the full throat of the rear view

I can’t count all the small town stars
the fireworks and sunsets
all the loneliness found
across these blue veins

like that years pass
I’m standing in a carwash
vacuuming the saturn
for one last ride
holding this dog-eared
abused talisman

I can’t throw it out
in a trashcan, in the last
of winter’s light even if
it is wholly disposable
it carries weight, o
how sweet the silent backward tracings

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About the Author: Jason Baldinger is from Pittsburgh and looks forward to roaming the country writing poems again. His newest books are A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press) and The Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press). A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010- 2020 (Kung Fu Treachery) is forthcoming later this year. His work has been published widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.

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More Poetry by Jason Baldinger:

This Ghostly Ambience

It was a Golden Time

Beauty is a Rare Thing

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Image Credit: Digitally altered photo of Walt Whitman. Public Domain.