Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Where the highway bleeds out and dies

Ride all the way out with me, my darling,
past those suburbs on the purple hills where
the angels laid down their swords, miles past
the sluggish red tide of the city, where the cold
sharpens each angry tail light in our tired eyes
the dark making each one a star of lances and burrs.

And then we will realize that it’s been an hour
since the names of the towns made any sense at all,
it’s been longer since we thought we wouldn’t get shot
if we even stopped for gas in one of those desolate stations
lit in the distance and silent as an aquarium.

The road will fall hush, in its senescence, as if it knew
it were about to end, and then it will be
a private highway, only three cars, each black,
and slower than ours. And it’s all just perfect,
the barns under the brittle moon, the grasping hands
of the trees, the shoals of sand at the side of the road,
perfect. The tractors were left in all the fields
just so their dark shapes could stand long on the fields.

Even the song on the radio is perfect,
once we turn the volume down a little,
and our car is clean, and bright, and you have always been perfect,
laughing with your hair that even the wind wants to touch,
and now that no one watches us pass,
even I belong in this landscape, too.

Mark Aiello