It’s Sunday morning and you’re in a pool hall.
While much of the country prays, I eat a hamburger in a saloon in Columbia.
Missouri is like Ohio, except it is not. Except for the light. Except for the yellow: black-eyed Susans by the road; in the city: steamstacks from factories and boats in the river. The river itself, a thick brown vein.
I see my first coyote, but it is dead.
I see signs for the Elvis is Alive Museum, the Missouri Girls Town.
I see signs.
Coming out of a breakfast place, I see my hero, Johnny Cash, what looks like my hero, my man: a older man all in black, pearl-buttoned shirt, boots, jeans, striding out into the parking lot, holding the hand of a woman, laughing.
I hope against hope when I am sixty my laughing husband will hold my hand.