Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal


Kory Wells

The men at my first real job
spit tobacco juice into Coke cans,
or smoked, or at least drank
caffeine. In the mornings
they backed into parking spaces
at the ready for day's end.
They wore pocket protectors,
security badges, white lab coats,
spoke of deltas and sigmas,
of seven-point bucks and Silver Queen corn,
of the time Gene Carothers took
twelve hundred volts
and lived. They kept Excedrin
in their desk drawers, brought me
cucumbers and Big Boys
and Snickers, told me I was
a keeper. Recounting legends
of chickens hurled at airplane wings
in the name of flight simulation
they calculated thrust,
calibrated transducers,
carried their numbers
to the fourth decimal place,
kept coming through the gates
before seven every morning
despite scientific knowledge
that for all its beauty
a rainbow doesn't really exist.

First published in Kudzu, 2007


Kory Wells' novel-in-progress White Line to Graceville was a finalist in the William Faulkner Competition. A software developer, she writes about her desire to be an astronaut and living beyond traditional cultural roles in the anthology She's Such a Geek (Seal Press, 2006).

© Kory Wells

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012