Poetry & Prose

it takes an unbelievable number of switchbacks to get all the way up here

your throat is a room of expensive speakers
playing nothing but low-fi cassettes,
not even good ones

you are as real as tape hiss.
we are listening to some band’s depressing album
and we know most of the words the curdled-milk voice is saying
so we throw them out the windows
like cheeseburger wrappers and watch them
bounce back down the road

i don’t see the stuffed animals from the 1980s
still crucified on top of the telephone poles.
you point them out to me but I am
too busy with both of us surviving this mountain highway

i feel held and i feel holding and the sun drops down
a whole sea of daytime, honey on our shoulders,
a real live ocean.
this car is a thousand miles late for an oil change
and both front tires are underinflated
and i say nothing about this,
and i shepherd us up the world in my death machine,
still smelling inside like the wet-dog-smell
of a long-dead dog who still haunts the air conditioning system

dogs are better people than most people.
you are sticking your bright-beaming-honest-to-god
head out the window,
mouth open, laughing,
squinting your eyes in the oncoming sun.

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