Driving into the city, we watched headlights
Strip the darkness and carve a river
Of steel lightning and exhaust fumes.
I was tired and nauseated,
Dizzy from the smell of gasoline and so much
Buzzing, constant movement.
Sleep doesn’t come to me in cars,
But I teetered there,
Between waking and dreaming,
Between touching your shoulder and falling back
Into the passenger seat, near you and alone
In the 25 mile stretch of flat nothingness
That comes before revelation.
What will happen to us,
And who cares?
All my softness has been kissed away,
And in the shadow of glass towers I will be etched
In neon and aerosol;
Fake, like jumbo television screens,
Like the packaged smell of flowers
On a subway train,
Like the sweetness in your voice when you tell me
There could never be anyone else.
But how, but how
Even this very highway is crowded
With other people’s lives,
And tonight we are all the same;
Bodies pushed flush against our futures,
A pastiche of mirrors angled back on us,
And the places we came from.
I see you push the engine
Toward the veiled horizon;
Its palms splayed