Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Pete & Bella
stenciled on a pirate's chest of a tail box,
and there they are, the two of them,
Pete's silver-streaked hair billowing out
from a battered Royals blue World Series cap,
long loose fingers flirting with clutch and throttle,
white socks in moccasins dallying on foot pegs,
Bella behind him, face wearing the mileage
of all the places they've been, hands
not wrapped around Pete but resting on
her Wrangler-jeaned knees, no hopeless romantics
these two, no ape hanger handlebars, no
Gucci saddlebags, no GPS, just
an ancient Electra Glide held together by
duct tape and baling wire, cruising east
to where the sun always rises,
plundering back roads as they go.
Robert L. Dean, Jr.'s debut poetry collection is At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Shot Glass, Illya's Honey, Red River Review, KYSO Flash, River City Poetry, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity, and the Wichita Broadside Project. He was a quarterfinalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. He read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in 2018 & 2019 and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018. He is event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita, Kansas. He has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.