Road Trip

When the radio says the brand’s
been linked to a sweatshop fire

in China, the same brand
sewn onto my shirt, I try

to picture the rows
upon rows. Each skull back

turned toward a stitch.
What must be

women. Though it’s hard to say
through smoke. At a distance

billboards on this highway in Texas
I can’t quite read, though I squint,

pinch my thighs to keep
away sleep. Closer, closer

until I just
discern words. Dark on sharp

white background. Still
abstract design, more like

wallpaper. Now it’s back
to the Stones –

Pleased to meet you –
when I see it:

Jesus Saves.
And I want

to believe it, sure
Hell will be hot,

one circle filled
with weights to push

and push
for the wasters

and keepers of all
the gold beneath the moon.

Jen DeGregorio’s poetry has appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Collagist, The Cossack Review, PANK, and elsewhere. She teaches writing to undergraduates in New York and New Jersey, where she co-curates the Cross Poetry reading series in Jersey City and edits the companion online journal, Cross Review.

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