It was spitting snow when we left
Kentucky in a tizzy, in the midst
of an argument. I played you like a song
on a country fiddle, watched the clock
on the dash and dug the trenches we fought
in Nashville. You let me behind the wheel
in Oklahoma City and I was 10 and 2
on edge the whole way, through Amarillo
where we got stoned and you said “Armadillo”
and we laughed till Flagstaff, where you took
the wheel and the Vicodin to swallow sleep away.
By Vegas, we were hyped and had make-up sex
standing in a shower at the Stardust,
where Wayne Newton was crooning in the Banquet
Room twenty floors below. Morning found us
hung over and heading to San Francisco, slamming
doors and cherishing our legs. I counted the clicks
of you footsteps over the rocks at Half Moon Bay,
heard you say you loved me once when the waves
tumbled down and sandwiched the rocks. You presented
a trinket that I lost, and you weren’t surprised
because that’s what I always do. I drank too much
wine and watched you craft masterpieces,
count the hours. We hailed a cop car and called
it a taxi, got tatted on Haight street and smoked candy.
We were past Hoover Dam and on our way home
before we knew we saw history.
We stopped in Needles and met a man who used
to be a neighbor to you, and you had that
moment before we touched I-40 again, felt
the breeze through the windows on our cheeks
when we rolled with tumbleweeds through Tucamcari.
Alabama questioned our intentions and intelligence at a Quik-Stop.
Somewhere in between, you threw a fit and the worst World’s
Best Burger against the wall of the Presidential Suite. When we
finally smelled Bluegrass air, we caught each other crying..
by Lindsay Landis
from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 2, June 2006
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim