Cross-country

Rick Wilson

driving alone
   tuned to late-nite radio
      the comfort of another voice

                          momentary blindness of high-beams
                               the soft radium-glow of my dashboard
                                   coffee thermos
                                        rolling on the floor
                                            empty.

like a greasy rag:                                                as if filled with sand
   a dead skunk, splayed                                      my foot falls asleep
       then a tire thump                                          against tile gas-pedal
         its lingering scent
           flares my nostrils


                                                       doing 65 mph:
                                                           the grey & lonely song
                                                               of the windvent soughing
                                                                   & sucking like a vacuum
                                                                       stale cigarette smoke
                                                                           that hangs heavy
                                                                               in tile air,
from a distant farmhouse                                            fogging my windshield
   window
      comes a solitary light
         unaware of my passage

                                                 Rt. 250: this ribbon
                                                    of rural road
                                                        steering me towards
                                                            a dim blue horizon

                  where cars passing at night
                      through the barren countryside
                         sound like
                             a shadow's sigh . . .

                                                        and in the darkness
                                                           of their wake
                                                                the high-tension wires
                                                                  whine like a restless child. . .

even as the wind
    tries to lull
        the wires to sleep.

 

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