Chattanooga, Tennessee

Winding pavement
Green everywhere
Bright like an Arrow Frog’s skin
Painted on everything
Lush

The river seems wrapped around me
There is no way to tell which way is north
No matter
Clear objectives ahead

I’m a tourist passing in search of food
Alone
Following the guidance of a voice from my phone
Irritating navigator
My co-pilot I’ve named Roxy

My yelping has led me into the depths
Past Main Street to Bea’s
Deep southern voice
Owner of the joint
Guided to a table
Food already on it ready to eat
Giant Lazy Susan

Spinning
Spinning
Like a revolver
The foods are bullets
Epicurean delights
Southern crisp
Hush puppy, catfish, red beans

A lone man sits beside me
“I’m Larry”
The Printer in town
Lunch break with a stranger
He guides me through the labyrinth
A David Bowie but less creepy

Just Larry and me
Southern food epic
Every minute like The Price Is Right
Where Susan lands — I win
— J.M.

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