Saturday, January 15, 2022



Here they come again, dump trucks

Full of steaming hot asphalt

Trundling around corners to patch

All the fatigue cracks stellating

Across the thawing ash-gray roads 

Of my half moon Midwestern town.

I hate the need to pave over such minor faults

It’s still safe. Drivable. Un-potholed. 

I like it shattered, patterned like crocodile 

Skins or the baked dry bed of the Nile.

Or a floor map of an undiscovered country

Deep in the heart of a dark continent 

Parceled by reasonable men into

Provinces, parishes, arrondissements.

I could spend hours gazing at maps

Marveling at how well it all fits 

Each shape specifically named, every

Odd polygon its own unique place 

I wanted to explore. But there they go,

Dumping piles of bitumen, rough men

Standing by with shovels, ready to spread,

Rollers lugubriously smoothing it all into

A black flatness like the corners of space

Devoid of stars or constellations.

No one can know where they are anymore.

Not that it matters, just gliding along

Mile after mile of gothic black

Ribbon, unspooling in funereal monotony.

But no one else seems to notice this

Deadening uniformity, cars rolling by as before

On roads now astonishingly flat

Like oceans viewed from the soar

Of an arctic tern untroubled 

By the absence of landmarks

It knows exactly where to go and why.  

And everyone else proceeds as before, 

And everyone else proceeds as before

Except for me, tethered

Once again to the side of the berm

Failing to take a single step forward,

Stuck staring at black voids, waiting

For shooting stars, comet tails,

Anything to suggest a connective 

Seam weaving it all together   


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