Armadillos belly up on tar as we buzz
by hoping for roadkill’s reincarnation along freeway.
Cars have turned wildlife eyes into double x
dead ones that we see through our lack of car window.
Eyeful of everything from a blue motorcycle. We rev
five days through six states, thank you
gods of traveling erect
hunching around lover’s back, belt loops
inserted with thumb and forefinger,
jeans stronger than seat belts. Trusting maps, I.Q.,
karma and experience, surrounding him with my lap,
leaning on his silent form, branched arms and torso,
my chest, our bodies press across the nation
nodding to southern states’ beauty and blight, vroom
of Kawasaki, encased in helmet, black vinyl shell,
perched. Legs circling leather, cargo strapped to back.
Quartet of convicts on cleanup, realtors named B.J.,
radioactive hot springs, tractor mowed grass waving its smell. I
see persistently grazing cows, badgers and towns that have met death,
tornado-ed streets spread out like a rug
under disaster clipped trees, a scalped roof
very intact, lying in the front lawn of its house.
Wide panoramas, flat and steep, canyons and cornfields slashed by road,
x-icons brought back by statuary, museum exhibitions, diner shrines without AC.
Yesterday’s musicians play on: Elvis, Tina Turner, Loretta Lynn, and B.B.
Zipping past Graceland, Pie Town and the Hateful Hussey’s Café on the way home to Arizona.
Susan Vespoli lives in a tiny cabin in the Prescott National Forest. She received her MFA in poetry from Antioch University L.A. in December 2010. Her work has been published online and in print at Monsoon Voices, The Artists’ Page of Naturally Speaking, Threshold, Merge – Phx Poetry Series Anthology, Verse Wisconsin and OVS Magazine. Her poem “He Lusts after Librarians” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.