Like crawling into a forest at night, that station-
wagon, as piney, as vast. Branches shushing.
You could spend your entire childhood
in the way-back. Buzzes fade up front,
where beltless adults murmur and smoke
after unfurling musty sleeping bags
in the trunk, mine printed red, white, and blue
in senseless zigzags, with a sharp zipper.
Numberless cousins nested there, lulled
to sleep as soon as the big car creaked
onto the parkway, green like a pine forest
of the mind. Unfurled on a musty sleeping bag,
I wouldn’t sleep for years. The stars
are such old ideas, suggesting patterns but