Back to Issue Eleven.

Radio Motown



I go back to Levi Stubbs
and the fog
when it’s spring

and I lie awake. Me
kissing a girl

the whole ride home,
if I pulled my lips away

I’d never get it back,

was happening. Her yes

in the dark
feeding mine

as Tommy nursed the ’98
through the hair-pin turns

of autumn,
Ridge Hollow Road,

while the other Tommy
held the door ajar

and tambourined
the dash,

right in time with the bass,
or leftleft

as the tires
spit and the car veered, and

we stayed on the road.

Frogs still out
in the reeds

because the air was
alive. The boys

were alive.
And Mary was kissing me

back. Pulse of tail lamp.
Four Tops. Fog,

banked road,
stench of swamp… And then

I was home and dropped
at that house by the lake.

Taste of her lips on my lips,
the boys’ voices swept

to mist in my head—

they would be dead in the
spring, I would crawl

unhurt over their beyond-
hurt bodies—

I sat alone in
the kitchen in the same

radio dark

and guided by
the singing,

them all the curved road home.


Dennis Hinrichsen’s most recent works are Skin Music, co-winner of the 2014 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press, and Electrocution, A Partial History, winner of the Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Prize from Map Literary: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and Art. Both will appear in 2015. His previous books include Rip-tooth (2010 Tampa Poetry Prize) and Kurosawa’s Dog (2008 FIELD Poetry Prize). An earlier work, Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights, received the 1999 Akron Poetry Prize. New poems appear in the anthologies Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in PoetryNew Poetry From the Midwest 2014Clash by Night (an anthology inspired by The Clash’s London Calling) and Best of the Net 2014.