the open road beckons like a carrier signal
and you are a mailman to the west coast tides
stirring up tears and the salt of the sea,
painting lovers though you know not how to love
in oils with your fingers like you can cut through young nostalgia;
marker fumes and turpentine
in a midday hunger-driven kindergarten delirium
reminiscent of grainy vhs tapes and orange-tinted film,
and you are no longer home, yet still you are every inch your hometown.
back-lit billboards seem ready to topple
and though you try not to look, corn field cryptids meet your eyes
american gothic; constantly stuck in liminal spaces,
driving you mad as if you cut your sanity off along with your hair,
biodegrading like the peels of that tangerine you ate in soho
and the cherry pits you spit out the window in reno;
not much more than afterthoughts soaked with sonder.
droplets of acid rain fall to the windshield
from a chloroform sky;
as with the lullaby of the highlands,
the swell and ebb of mist as it claims sparsely scattered store fronts
doesn’t care if you die
and you’d best believe you’re losing sleep tonight
among the taillights of 25/8 truckers
glowing like demonic eyes in the dark;
it’s cold like most parts of hell at any given time.
you are on back roads where a man stands behind the roadside barrier;
where the gas station attendant’s eyes bore into your back
as you choose a pack of gum for the next hundred miles,
and you find yourself in the spaces between
where you could fall asleep to white noise
or to the sounds of a radio recording from half a century ago.