I sing the map of my youth
in subsidized harmonies,
rent assistance and empty houses.
Bank accounts below zero, and ice,
well, ice, a luxury
in a home with one warm room.
Places, where wind-cracked shutters
squat, destitute on a bed
made of garbage bags and stolen thrift.
Crime is not a choice –
when the alternative to pride is death,
only a way of life can be seen.
The path is narrow,
less than an alleyway, woven
through friends, across couches.
The rainbow’s end is not marked,
no X, no rose or key, just legends
of what may be beyond. And I go.
Nolan Liebert hails from the Black Hills of South Dakota where he lives with his wife and children in a house that is not a covered wagon. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Gone Lawn, ExFic, Map Literary, An Alphabet of Embers, and other publications. He can be found on Twitter @nliebert.