Kate Gale

Texas, oh Texas

Texas, oh Texas,
my embarrassing racist-sexist
you're all cracked leather
you're all brittle and dust beauty
you're clouds of
lightning in the dark
forever sky
you're three day
horizon dog
you're dirt in teeth
you're home - welcome
back, darling daughter
you're Loop 289
you're level land
Levelland, Texas --
Oh, Texas!
you're Dallas, you're
Lubbock, you're Denton,
Richardson, McKinney, Texas
oh, Texas
Don't stay - don't go
I can't stay - I must go 

you're streetlights blinking
at 9PM
you're highway scars
in towns without stoplights
you're highway speeds
in the middle of town
you're that rotten
smell I can't smell
you're not open after 6PM
or on Sundays
you're no more
nighttime speed
you're "w'llyatb'y'all?"
the sound of
my mother's culture
you're "bahye"
the accented mutation of
my father's salutation
you're choking
the corpse of
my mother's garden
you're making my
father a professor
Texas, oh Texas,
you're not my lover
you frigid prudish puritan
religious bitch
you're rain but never
you're snow days but
never snow
you're driving through
clouds on the
you're an ugly mirage
Martian landscape
you're fat billowing
silos and
breathing pumpjacks
you're a wallstorm of red
you're no sidewalks
you're Buddy Holly in
the depot
you're controversy over
a false God on the
side of the highway
you're cotton fields and
red eye fields
you're no trees and
all the same trees
you're stranger weddings
and child funerals
you're not stopping for
you're pushing stunted
telephone poles with
all that wind, Texas
oh Texas

you're buckling the Bible
you're abstinence only -
condoms stay behind
the counter, please
you're an Allsup's fried
you're pretending to have
you're a flat city
you're liquor stores out
side city limits
you're slowing down
for a sec - there's
towns straddling
the highways in the
middle of nowhere, Texas
oh, Texas

you bore me
and now you bore me
you're possums in
the garage
or dead at the
bottom of the
pool after vacation
you're nothing for
miles and miles
you're all new
development -
still so much
space to develop
your water tastes like
you're my childhood
stuck in traffic
you're tearing off my new
you're paving me I-35
you're ozone warnings not
to play outside
you're my mother &
father playing their
Texas Instruments
Texas, oh Texas 

you're 50 miles in 15 minutes
you're 15 miles in 50 minutes
you're giving me suicidal
thoughts on 635, Texas
you're a parking lot for
every man, woman, & child
you're starving me with
such large portions, Texas
oh Texas,

you're a prison
you're the coldest hell of
a holding cell
you're fits of deja vu
you're my best friends
you're my worst memories
you're my interim period
my larval stage
Thank God you're Dallas
in my rearview mirror
Texas, oh Texas

you're industry in sunset
you're ditchwater mirrors
and glowing spiderweb telephone
you're supping on honey
milk sky in a
leisurely country way
you're not the south
you're a direction all
your own, not to be found
on a compass rose
my country tis of
thee, Texas
oh Texas

you'll always be
the same, Texas
you'll be construction
never finished
you'll be traffic
jams and preserves
you'll be prayer
towns near Happy,
you'll breed families
of tumbleweeds
you'll settle for
what you got
you'll never leave,
you'll be there
and I'll be here
have a blessed day
Texas, oh