rj looney | flagging down the devil

Flagging Down The Devil

I was sick
in the backseat
reading an Archie comic
The Impala
was rolling up
Highway 7
“Captain” at the wheel
… “Nervous” was the navigator
Destination Dogpatch, USA
It was like a low-rent
Silver Dollar City
If you can imagine that
I could almost smell
The trout swimming
In Mill Creek in anticipation
I really needed to puke
but choked it back

Just then Nervous shrieked
“There’s a woman in the ditch!”
Captain kept going
a quarter mile past
curiosity or guilt
made him 180
and there she was

Her face was painted
with lipstick
and who knows what

A great big bearded guy
in overalls showed up
driving an International Harvester pickup
the stopping of the heap
sounded like the train stop
on “Petticoat Junction”

He offered “She does this all the time”
without emotion
He helped her into the IH
We traveled on to Dogpatch

Instamatic pics
of the rest of that trip
were made into slides
but nothing sticks in my mind
more than the woman in the ditch
the lipstick
and the smell of dead trout
where they shouldn’t have been
in the first goddamn place

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