Today's poem is by Lisa Fay Coutley
View from the High Road
It is as you'd expect, beyond the rusting guardrails
tacked to gravel s-curves & switchbacks:
a maze of sandstone fins & cactus beds, tumbleweed
clogging all the yucca shoots. There is no sky
because you're already in it, high on that high road
where the air thins out to shallow gasps
& your mule refuses to carry anything. Your feet
are one steep grade from gangrene, & even
though you know the scene is the stuff of a movie,
you won't shove a mule just to watch
a prop swallow the view. If not for this road,
nothing. Quicksand. A coffee can of pecans
you'll send back after he leaves in the night.
Some black sky with its sharp, sharp moon,
& you with your neck stretched like shadow.
In the distance of those fins, he is
forever bending, collecting those hard-shell nuts
he knows you can't eat. Your throat swells
with the thought of him four states gone,
his boots resoled & restitched. But fuck it.
So you were a stop on the way to somewhere
else. Spring for priority shipping, jerk
the dustcover down behind you. Trot cleanly away.
Copyright © 2010 Lisa Fay Coutley All rights reserved
from Cave Wall
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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