Drive

We drive
to where we are needed.
These cars,
they deliver us
alone
or with the ones we love,
to places
of small miracles ~
to a conversation
that unwinds your memory
on the spool
of an evening,
to a triangle of peak standing black
against the purple dusk
like a secret,
to a pearl wire of headlights,
of which you are now one,
with your music
and your thoughts
and your bags packed with
Monday’s laundry
as you drive toward the sea of city,
or to the river,
one hand out the window,
one hand on the wheel.

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Passing Through

I see a man
on the side of the highway,
his backpack leans
just like his gait,
and what he shoulders,
it’s from a lifetime,
the road is heavy
beneath his weight.

I see the prison,
a crystal skyline
sets fire the valley
despite the rain,
and thirteen prisons
they line this byway,
I hear their shackles
inside my brain.

I’m driving home,
I’m driving home,
it’s way past midnight
I’m wide awake.
You’re all alone,
You’re all alone,
and that is something
I just can’t shake.

The night is thick
with weary travelers,
each tiny light
under the moon,
and we are lonely,
our pockets dusty,
yes we are only
passing through.

And from the lamppost
a banner’s waving,
beside the barbwire
and guard tower city,
as I drive under
it says please come back
for more good fun
in Canyon City.

Highway 84

I see your jeans
in the mirror,
passenger side, 

and your hand
wrapped round
the gun-

How high
do you take
your octane?   

Soul fuel
on a New Mexico
highway, you take

your time,
as if this windshield
had never

been shined,
your pickin’ hand
draws slow,

back and forth
between our
steady eyes,

makes wet
and disappearing lines,
until I can see

the high desert light
on a tin sign
rusting

into sunset,
and the red, red rocks,
and velvet sky. Here,

we have all
stopped –
those of us

needing something
from the roadside
before we die –

the cactus,
and the jackrabbit
and the white 

Cadillac,
and you and me
needing nothing 

but a damn fine view
and a little bit
of gasoline.