driving route eighty-eight

in the space between
working and not
i lose myself
essing and squiggling
day and late
on eighty-eight–

a kind of asphalt
umbilical cord,
connecting dawn and sunset—
wending way
again today
hauling my self-same freight
bobbing and bouncing
down eighty-eight:
always-adventuresome deer
nervously anticipating leaping flight
herding near the berm,
often—scavenger crows
picking splattered carcasses–

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vistas appear—
erased and rephrased—
as sunlight fragment-dances
through trees not unleafed,
but not yet shade
as day breaks
and brakes dare—
another curvy-swerve
awakening nerve
from trance of sleepy routine
the esses and the cees
of reversing parentheses
spell out the guardrail’s
frowns and smiles
of huge metal teeth;

splintered sunshine slips
behind barbed-wire sanctuaries
where unconcerned cows
casually chew cud
and eye in stupid-stare
those who dare
traverse the asphalt-ribbon,
the bovines,
themselves unconcerned about
radioed words
regarding time and weather
and whether the jolting bump
into liquid-filled potholes
prompts the birth
of a new day—

or just the slower death
of my ever-balding radials!