Highway 191

Here lie twelve empty cans beside
the road, red and silver in the sunlight, shining
where they fell when the last drop
tasted like the first
                                    and it was time to drive
on, to look for a way
out of this land where stones dream
and mesas are holding up the sky.
The scene suggests
                                       a party on the run,
a momentary exit
from red rock life. There’s a post for leaning
on, a patch of weeds
                                          where a person might sit
while pulling at the tabs,
and little traffic to disturb the atmosphere,
            to an outsider passing through
is consciousness stripped
to its core with creation
still in progress after all these windy millennia.
A ragged beauty but
a person has to live here
                                                to see the white lines
on the highway narrow straight ahead
and to know that after
the fourth drink there is no
turning back.




David Chorlton





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