Anecdote of the Plate

by DAN ALBERGOTTI

for the young woman with the vanity license plate CARRION

I passed a car in Tennessee, expecting Goth kid with sulking stare, but what I got was more flower child, a college-aged girl with brilliant smile who was singing along to something (Widespread Panic? Phish? The Dead?) as if the music were distilled joy. She turned and waved as I passed. She wanted me to persevere, I guess, as I guess she’d tried to pledge herself. The Y had been taken when she applied, and so she’d settled for the I instead. It took dominion in my head. She hadn’t been saying that she’d be dead someday, though she will, as will you and me and everything else in Tennessee.

DAN ALBERGOTTI is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008), selected by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, and The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). A new collection, Millennial Teeth, was selected by Rodney Jones as a winner of the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in 2013 and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in September 2014. Albergotti’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII, as well as other journals and anthologies. A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, he is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.