Passing Through Weiser, Idaho

By John Stupp

A sunset
in Weiser
is nobody’s business
if you can’t see it
if you can’t see
mountains at dusk
red and orange rocks
spreading like shotgun pellets
if you can’t see lights from cars
and flatbed trucks
crossing the Snake River
and it’s nobody’s business
if a girl you met
takes off your clothes
while you’re driving
grinning like a deer coming to a salt lick
and calls you a jack Mormon
and you leave town thirsty for stones
laughing into a hard wind
like a tramp
like a thief
clearing frost from a windshield
with a propane torch in your pants
because it’s cold in America
the dry air burns like a banjo
burns like stars flying past a high meadow
doing everything wrong—
fuck it she said
throwing a cigarette out
the window
I’m like a sunburned Italian
fishing all day on a pier in New Jersey—
I’ll have to piss in a mailbox


John Stupp is the author of the 2007 Main Street Rag chapbook, The Blue Pacific, and the 2015 full-length collection, Advice from the Bed of a Friend (also by Main Street Rag). Recent poetry has appeared or will be appearing in Houseguest, Timberline, The New Guard, Slippery Elm, Eye Contact, The Pittsburgh City Paper, Long Dumb Voices, Wraparound South, The Mackinac, Birds We Piled Loosley, Inklette, and Uppagus. He has lived and worked in various states as a jazz musician, university instructor, taxi driver, radio news writer, waiter, auto factory laborer, and paralegal.