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The exile, the hillbilly queen,
driving all night
the white Thunderbird
reaches the capital.

She walks a long hall into screams
from the dim stink lobby,
from the furious boys
slamming chains,
spitting beer and piss.

She sets a time for tomorrow
and gets out.
More coffee and hamburgers…
Oil for the car…
In the coffee shop ladies room,
she puts on an old dress
to walk among the statues
waiting for her appointment.

She decides
she can only tell her closest friends
the tragic news and surprises
she carries in her wild heart,
where all these developments began.

Right away she leaves.
She takes the wrong bridge out
and drives another lost night.
The car won’t stop.

She finally sleeps
on cushions on the floor
of a family of strangers.
The car keeps igniting
and coughing in the driveway.
They laugh and bring her tea
whistling into their sun room.
She can’t tell them.
Later the children awaken, afraid.