Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Road Prayer"

There are some nights, I've said it before, when there is nothing like a perfect murderous drive, I've said before, like a hot knife through the buttery underbelly of state highways, our angular little hood the head of a snake swallowing its two-lane tail, blinking at spirits hallucinatory and convincing, like making love straddling a backbone and swinging wide through the curves until she gasps and I nearly see the Glory of the Almighty in the infinite shadows cast by floodlit flagpoles, though the flags themselves drip with brains and wet gunpowder.

Only a night ago, everything was wet with stars, and closing my eyes I could see a lunar landscape of glowing coral and spiraling marble columns encrusted with hard candy and brooches, and I could kick off of these columns with a child's feet and fall giddily and unscathed through the storms of fear, and I was only filthy barefeet dancing with cicadas.

It makes me sad we will never know each other, but life is a funny wheel. I'll still have your letters and someday I will read them without a bitter pang, still will I someday regret to have washed your hair from my pillowcases. The wheel spins, we move on as swiftly as the world turns beneath us. There is no room for futility in these spokes, only a playing card to make the whole rotten thing feel a little more like a motorcycle. Insha'Allah, may we all find blessed comfort on maddening winds, knowing that same air pushes the sweat from all of our brows, knowing I will never know you so long as I refuse to know myself.

Screeching hymns of the open road, the lonely howl of semis and the tranquility of smoke and good tunes, the Holy inertia and exhausted eyes in league to make this road twist and pulse and lunge under my feet even when I'm standing perfectly still.


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