Texas Doesn’t Miss You

By: Ashley Alvarado
after Adrienne Rich

The wide expanse of highway didn’t try to stop you,
the heat never tried to follow,
if the rhinestone-studded sky knew you had left
it was not any duller;
the wildflowers giggling on the roadside
had no desire to mourn you,

and if now and then a storm
punches out a stoplight
or stampedes through your town
with black eyes, over you
the storms are not waging war;
nor does the stadium

dim its pageantry
to listen for your unheard cheer,
it has no penalty to call—
no, there are no fouls to report,
the stands are not lonely
the rivals roll in loyally, and you don’t know

Even the miles of trails,
the slinking bitter pavement
that absorbed your weight and maybe a friend’s
on alluring afternoons,
even the sidewalk that caught you
when you ran without water in July—

the tears, the vomit up your nose,
knee-staining blood—
the sidewalk didn’t ask for it,
the train tracks didn’t volunteer to bear
your childhood vagabond days,
Come back and see:

ask the sidewalk for your skin
tucked in its cracks, the stadium
for your seat back, squelch the ire
of the storm or the green that’s hardly there
And most of all ask: why the road let you go.