Mennonite Poetry Home | Robert Martens



rest stop

the freeway's a jagged
jugular. gas and coffee
the cardiac heart. old
friend, the world's passing.
the lust to vanish
around the bend, suck in
the smoke, head for the
silhouette of that overpass.
and all around the travel
zone, autumn's breath
on exhausted corn rows.
you imagine the skitter
of a cricket, the bobble of
a dragonfly. a silence
too mournful, blood won't
absorb it, the pulse
can't wait. you pull in,
last chance to stop, says
the sign. gas, coffee,
then move on, join earth's
tourists down the freeway that
plunges off the map. and how
can we bear it? you imagine
a silver coyote on the median.
a sun sticky as sugar. a
small beast rustling in
the cornhusks. i click on my
seatbelt, wave goodbye
in the rearview mirror, i'll
miss you, old friend, may you
live forever one step beyond
the surveillance cameras.
your veins are pumped.
coke and doughnuts for
breakfast, you'll be obese
by nightfall. no bills.
no weather. the heart quakes,
but not your faith.

© Robert Martens




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