I'm digging for the kite in the back of the Saturn when I discover the runaway bag. Not her gym clothes with the bathing suit, but two pairs of everything, two toothbrushes, one big, one spongebob. The getaway bag, the get the hell out bag. I've been bone dry for two months. I left it in there, but asked if her parents knew she was still coming, and should I pack some toothpaste? She laughed, no, we'll get some on the way.
One night six weeks ago, making dinner, she snapped at me and I snapped back. I put on my boots on and got my keys. Where are you going, she asked, I didn't know. The truck went down 321 anyway, swinging past dark cow pastures. Twenty minutes of nothing, then there was Parrotsville, it's one gas station illuminating the first curve into town. I pulled in. I could get a twelvepack there then down to Gatlinburg and get another, and onto my Aunts weekend cabin in Weirs valley. I still had the key and I had left my phone. Things could go either way from there but I turned around and went home.
Yesterday I teased the girl at Kikers Tobacco barn about her lunch: vienna sausages, ritz crackers and a coca-cola. She laughed and handed my winstons to me, did something flirty with her hair. I could her the slot machines chirping at the old timers in the next room. I paid and got out to the truck around the side of the place, clawing a pack out of the carton. I lit one up then noticed three orange hypodermics littering the ground beneath my boots. I frightened me that I hadn't realized there were those dreamers everywhere, even here in this pissant town.
--Ghost Poems, collaborative effort via email with Jay Snodgrass inspired by the movie The Ring