“The Fifteen Beds of Our Honeymoon” & “I Want to Sleep in the Belly of a Dog in Idaho”
Our bellies were full of beef
at bedtime in Amarillo.
I don’t remember John Wayne’s bed
at the Apache being particularly cozy,
although I did sleep through the alarm, saying
“I’ve seen enough rocks.”
We missed the Arches National Park
& Moab is only a memory
of a trio of buffalo, elk, and boar skewers
from dinner the night before.
There are some beds I don’t remember at all.
I remember what we woke for: slow dancing
on the deck of the Belle of Louisville with bourbon
balls melting on our tongues.
There were two beds in the rooms
in Gilbertsville, KY & Eldora, IA.
We slept in one bed to avoid the wet spot,
slept separately for love of the sprawl.
The bed frame was wicker at the concrete wigwam
in Holbrook, AZ. It smelled inside,
so we sat on the bench outside the office/museum,
watching the sunset & traffic roll by on Route 66.
In Eureka Springs, AR, you could see the spa tub
from the bed of our one-room luxury tree house.
The cool sheets in Vegas felt like a whisper
after the cacophony under the Fremont Street canopy,
asphalt heat creeping up our legs.
There were two nights of respite in a suburban Denver.
Hilton Garden Inn. We left bedonly
for laundry with Little League moms folding uniforms.
Road construction kept us awake in Santa Fe.
We ate $13 room service strawberry ice cream
in bed in Chicago.
I slept well in Deadwood, dreaming of buffalo
& big-horned sheep & elk, the promises of the road signs.
In DeSmet, SD, I went to bed in a covered wagon
with a man who would travel anywhere with me,
who would dig me a well, if he had to,
who would plant trees in my honor,
in our future daughters’ honor, on an acre of land
never to be plowed, who will buy me Laura Ingalls Wilder
memorabilia in the morning,
who moved to the floor of the wagon & gave me
the elevated bed away from the spiders.
I Want to Sleep in the Belly of a Dog in Idaho
I want to wake in Maine, atop Cadillac Mountain
to see the first sunrise. Walden Pond,
Café du Monde, Mall of America.
Nu-Way wieners red as sin & cherry blossoms
in Macon, while we listen to Jamey Johnson
And the faster I go, the more I know
‘bout waitin’ too damn long. Ellis Island,
Tybee Island, Joshua Tree, Yosemite.
Hollywood, sign & stars, a black fishnet-ed leg
lit in The Christmas Story house in Cleveland.
Running & roses the first Saturday in May,
burgoo belly & mint julep jaunt.
Surely there’s Jackson residue in Chanute
in the dust of the Southern Kansas Railroad.
Six-toed cats, Dollywood, smallmouth bass
in the Adirondacks. Yellowstone,
Tombstone, a moment alone humming
“Ring of Fire” in a Hendersonville cemetery.
Hominy Grill, Andersonville, OBX, Schabl’s
Beef on Weck, US Route 1 from Maine to Key West.
Chicken from Hot Sauce Williams, Steepletop,
Hannibal, Roswell, Napa, Savannah.
There are twelve little girls in two straight lines
on a bar wall on the Upper East Side.
I want to remember the Alamo & poke my head
out of a phone booth The stars at night are big & bright.
I want a picture next to Wavy Gravy’s grave
in the Ben & Jerry’s factory yard.
I want to order a Churchkey’s fried chicken Luther
sandwich off-menu on a Sunday at noon.
I want cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair & scrapple
the second weekend of October in Bridgeville.
I want to be in awe of Plymouth Rock,
even though I’ve heard it’s small. I want to walk
through Walt Whitman’s house in Camden.
I want to sleep 70 feet below the earth’s surface
in Kokopelli’s Cave. I want to sleep
in the cockpit of a 1968 Sikorsky Sea King, downed
in the rolling hills of Connecticut.
When we wake in Punxsutawney on February 3rd,
I want to do it all over again.
Jennifer Jackson Berry lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her poetry has appeared in 5AM, SOFTBLOW, elimae, Pearl, and The Chaffey Review.