I made it 300 miles away on a leash
and I laugh at myself because
this fire hydrant is home to my family
(and 35,000 low-to-middle class residents squeezed in between ten bat-ridden prisons)
and I can't stay.
I just have to raise my leg, take that piss, and walk away with dignity
like there's no collar,
like I'm the only one marking this territory
for the twelfth time this weekend.
I have to stuff my semi-dirties back into my bag I never really unpacked,
drag all the shit I never really used back to my car,
and follow my leash to where it's tethered
(at least until my car is on empty
and an over-priced gas station halfway between
Austin and Timbuktu
smiles at me from under the grime dragged in
by all the others following their own leashes).
It's a wonder we never tangle at these stations,
or in grocery stores, or anywhere they call "public".
We manage to wait the pumps out,
shove grocery carts around tight aisles,
and pay for all of it
I will make it 300 miles back, and my wallet will be lighter,
my clothes a little dirtier,
and a fire hydrant somewhere in prison city a little more yellow.