04 July 2006


lacquer-hard-- these shells creep past,
most silently, though some scream
as they turn a corner, some warm
with sufficient space for the

extension of legs-- oh -- mystery of
internal combustion-- the mechanics
of things--what makes us go--not
stop--the fire within us that blazes up

in the night, so warming. Where are
they all going, she wonders--and pulls
the curtains close. Banded in by
highways here, the greyblue ribbons

of asphalt, laid down with gravel and
hot tar in the summer, smoking, black,
noxious--the proper signs put up,
green and white, to mark the

exits--always the roar, the insect-hum
in the background deadened only by snow

always going--where are they going, going
to go
back to what home, back to what work,
the marked off spaces we place our
names on

the carrier bags filled with groceries
in the back, the gold crowns,
sticky-handed children, a jumble
of laundry, bright toys, primary colors
red, blue, and yellow like the light above--
butterscotch colored, it is burning out,
no longer white bright like the slim-
necked brothers and sisters lining the road,

these sentries showing the way--here--
and here--and here--the head-
lights pick out the exit signs--they
gleam back, the diamond-pointed strips

common illumination leading us our way,
all our ways, home-ways, work-ways, our
willful ways
humming along, along, those neon miles
past the car dealerships, the chain
restaurant with parkinglot pitted with
shallow depressions that catch the rain,
vague industrial buildings sprouted up
inside chainlink fences (their blank
bricks tell no story, tell no story save
that of forms filed in triplicate, carbonized,
delicate canary yellow covered in a fine dust)

road, cut through rock, twists ever and
ever away, light pointed, a place
thick with trees and crows, coal black,
call to each other as the moon silvers
over the blueblack ribbons tying us
each to each, exits and entrances
our beginnings and ends, the center
one comes to, embracing in a perfect circle,
the beginning and end of all our travels

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