Troy Cunio

Ode to Sleeping in My Car, with FM Lullabies

why should I not sleep under
whichever streetlight
feels most like home?

a backseat is enough for love,
so why not loneliness?

this is a home I can take anywhere
a turtleshell that carries me

this is a battered and dented bedroom
where I slumber surrounded by my possessions
like an ancient king

where midnight wanderers pass me believing
home to be empty

this cramped herd of wild horses
only a collision away from park benches and friends’ couches

this is where drunk or ruined or both I have
spent the coldest nights
in parking lots and cul-de-sacs

this is a place that takes on the scent of me the way a lover does

a solitude no lover can penetrate

a bed that sings me to sleep
with a thousand voices
or none

with grimy rusting innards and a dashboard
sun-cracked as an old surfer’s face

floormats and crevices
strewn with sand and discarded coffeecups

this is where I remain amid
the record of my survival

proof as I dream that this
is only a temporary kind of death

that however trapped I am
there is still a sunset to drive off into

that waking up is only a birdsong
and a turn of the ignition away


Troy Cunio’s work has appeared in Sweet Wolverine, Strong Verse, The Literary Bohemian, and The Kitchen Poet. He was a representative of Orlando at the 2016 National Poetry Slam. He has organized and performed in numerous unconventional readings, including at punk shows, improv dance performances and experimental electronic music concerts. He is the managing editor of Citrus Beat Press, creator of the Carta Blanca Project, and curator of Dead Beat Books.