tuesday, july 29

it was raining again tonight
heavy pattern on the stovepipe,
a kind of static on the roof

and somewhere near midnight, too restless to sleep
i walked out back, started the car, drove across
main and down 36
thinking i guess that i'd roll past the river
and see what the water was like
let the water hitting my windshield
clear out my head

but of course it's dark out and my wipers are shot
there's nothing to see, and no clarity to be found
keeping wheels between the lines and driving too slow
with nowhere to be

and so thinking this, i pulled off
on a road i used to live on
turning back for home
and there in the headlights
was this toad in the dead center of the gravel

i waited, but toad wasn't going anywhere
and so, feeling like some kind of self parody,
i got out of the car and shuffled around the front
to shoo it out of the way
and between the weather and the place
i was struck, as happens often enough
with the idea of the roads in the rain
when i first came out here

i guess i'm done losing thought
on the who and why of back then
the others are long faded out
into other kinds of life than
i was ever liable to live
and the way i thought i was
might as well be a memory
of someone else's past

but the shapes of those first days in colorado
those first years on this edge
of the plains whose center made me
they still hang in all the angles of the
day's light, in low clouds torn above the foothills,
in reflections on the surface of the street after a storm

there's a kind of text in everything i pass
and where once i read some kind of failure in it
some kind of loss
these days there's only a geometry
of accumulated fact