thursday, september 25

lately i have been saying
'i only hope i can remember this'
a lot

hills and forty miles of winding gravel,
the sun up on the crest like
a nuke on the horizon obliterating everything
every little rock a shadow six inches long
stars wheeling unrestricted, dancing over
the possibility of winter wheat

silence and wind,
cactus, yucca, grass and dust
insects, cedars, sky and waiting, watching, careful
utility-line series, electric or telephony
and scattered cattle

music like nothing i have known
guitars and the voices raised
the bars with elvis on the wall,
frosted mugs and chainsmoked cigarettes
in other people's hands
lights and standing singing
between tents and coolers full of beer

a quonset full of books,
all the things i only wish
i had read

kansas thunderstorms through wichita,
past salina all the way through to grey sunrise
the great cutting emptiness of a jet engine coming up to speed
and most of all the girl.