After West, Heading South
The highway stretches out long and wavery. A/C wheezing , windshield spotlighting relentless glare, grass frazzling brown on the shoulder. My eyes spiral over fields of corn, fields of wheat, fields of weeds, fenced fields offering two dead coyotes at the gate, heads spiked on the posts, mouths frozen in leering hyena grins – who’s laughing now, funny guy? Radio picking up static, car picking up speed, mind on cruise control as small towns break out like a rash of zits: Dinnette. Victor. Dustpan. Tiny burgs of nothing, Hoovilles, dust specks on a dandelion, waiting for a strong wind.
One gas station. A store that, judging from the front lot, sells broken, rusted things. “Kountry Krafts – Kome on in!”
I looked up. I don’t know why. There, on an overpass, on a bridge joining Nunca to Nada, is a tall black man, black like Sudan, like coffee grounds, like the black boiling tar under my black rubber tires, head to foot in a bright yellow robe that billows in a breeze I cannot feel on my sweat soaked skin. Banana skinned chocolate. Long citrine sleeves belling out like trumpets, like the RCA gramophone, ringing out a golden era. His face was obscured as I vroomed towards him, but on his onyx head, like the top of a summer crookneck squash, sat a little hat, bright yellow beanie, and as I pass beneath, a million miles an hour, he extends his arms, palms out, raising his hands to the side and up, Vitruvian Man, up, floating balloons heliuming above to the big blue and white, and then over his head, a glorious ascension, and though I can’t feel the breeze, I feel him breathing the air, the rush of in and out from his nostrils, flared like his sleeves, and for a moment, it’s as if I’ve stopped, suspended in his amber inhalation, as the man who is the blinding lemon sun rising on a bridge over nowhere, either blesses me,
or curses me,