ASPHALT ANIMALS

Navigating the roads, the thoroughfares, the swirl of exhaust

from motor vehicles tuned and on guard for speed

when it suits them to fly toward a distant light,

fellow travelers shining their bulbs like fireflies

that circle and swoop for a moment before disappearing

behind walls of darkness and lunar fog.

I check the rear view, I check the side mirrors,

I look backward and forward, my eyes a checkered flag

readying to run, to see everything before making my move

to my personal distant landing spot, my place to rest

or to go about my business like the rest of us,

but knowing that the getting there is more fun than the arrival.

My world is my dashboard, my possessions, my trunk

My going far and coming back my only pastime,

the asphalt my deliverance, the road signs my chaperone

life on the Serengeti, the animals the hawks and buzzards

that point their beaks forward unless they find some kill

on the road that is offered as sacrifice to the avian gods.

I bide my time, scan the radio, look for connections in song

and voice that enter my core and lead me unbound and

triggers my brain to remember and relate, to forget

the ones that I've lost, the regrets that I have, the

voices in my own head that pierce the calm surface,

outward waves rippling the waters and fashioning concentric circles.

Drive, he said, for that is the path I must take now,

drive and be part of the human race, reenter the place

where there is purpose, there is motion, there is eternity

go without a map, discard your phone and its lures, just drive

only stop for a fillup, make it quick, don't delay,

for the promise of reward is in movement, not slowdown.

There is no sense of staying in bed, looking up at the world

from a contemplative viewpoint, meditating and regurgitating

that which is now fuzzy soft focus, blurred images

that you want to see but like a movie camera, forces

you to look in the center of the screen where things are clear

but you want to go on, move on, just drive and be a blurry image

yourself.


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