Thursday, February 20, 2014

Poem: Redding 50 Miles

Redding   50 Miles

A wild dark breath
courses the night air
and Karen sits by the window
waiting to catch it

Its rise and fall comes in the form of a
freeway, two in the morning
flat shadow farmlands scored by the
dirt road call of Christmas tree lights

Driving by fast she looks to the right
squeezes the shutter
strangers’ lives, hubbub motions in the
charcoal splash of TV light

One frame one glance and she,
shooting star of brake lights
steals three of their seconds
chewing them down
running north toward Chico

(Twenty miles west an old man sits on
tinder brown hills
flipping matches like startled flaming crickets
into the tall grass)

If you could flux from point to infinite
point along the interstate highway system
you might cease to exist

So sweet to find Mt. Shasta at your
starboard window like a
bright-eyed salesman
so easy to watch him go

A silver loop of keys
perches on the nightstand
and Karen sits on the bed
waiting to take them

She slips down the walk
a set of eyes from the bedroom window
one frame one glance one

Karen reaches behind the shrubs
feels for the cord and
unplugs the Christmas tree lights

The darkness is so lovely.

First printed in The Montserrat Review
(San Jose, California)

From the collection Great Showtunes of the American Stage  

Photo by MJV

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