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