(For Marilyn, who knows it's all true)
Put the car in gear and we'll be gone,
busy with trying not to remember,
unspeaking and thankful for the
sound of the stereo—Mark Isham's
trumpet like the call of some
primordial element within us,
and for a time, in this terrible
cold, this chill that waited into
summer to have its last go at
us, its final parting shot, we
can flout it all and be the
desert marauders we have been
in lives past, our hands dark and
calloused upon the reigns of our
chargers as we surmounted the
dunes and felt the wind come
off the Red Sea.
Put the car in gear and point us
west, or at least south, and we'll
be nowhere anyone can find us,
not at the end of any phone line,
not lingering in the corner of some
small town's postal office where
the rumors are passed—no, we'll
just be a black streak across the
winds and dim highways, just
an old t-bird, getting younger with
the mile, letting the frozen blocks
within us begin to fade, easing
the tension we've held for fear of
hell, and we'll leave this iron-dark
ocean forever, these pines and spruce,
this land, our mother but turned
hateful in its years.
Put the car in gear, and we'll seek
the ambrosial remnants, not quite
hoping like dust bowl rousties,
not quite jaded like we feared we
were, but scarred enough to savor
the heat when the unleavened sun
hit hard against the windshield,
sick enough to need the unmarked
blue sky from horizon to horizon
to convince us that the worst things
we remember never happened.
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