May 8, 2015

start the morning
meditating by the lake at Furman
rated one of the most beautiful campuses
she says

motorcyclists don’t wear helmets
in South Carolina
and I cannot figure out

firework stands aplenty
I wonder why people
like to blow things up?

bales of hay
scatter across shorn meadows
horses wander beside fences
vultures peck at
snakes squished on asphalt
crossing the river
I pass a statue of a horse
reared up on hind legs
suspended in a cage
between the Carolinas

I dance through school buses
as I weave between small towns
all afternoon

“not many people would ride a 650 across the country”
says the barrel-chested man with the thick neck
in front of the post office in Sharon
“you done good”
he’s planning the reverse trip
later this summer
wants to drive up the West Coast
on his R1100
before he pulls out of the parking lot
he locks my gaze
“be careful”

in Charlotte
you can buy Newports for $4.66
drive round the NASCAR hall of fame
every license plate boasts
“first in flight”
a pretty cool thing
to be known for
one car aggressively cuts
in front of me
the decal on the back window
is light pink
“My Family”
under the silhouettes
of 5 different gun models

church signs start spouting metaphors
“God made food for each chick
but he isn’t going to put it in the nest”
what exactly does that mean?

in my mirrors
I watch the sun set behind me
and the dusk before me
a kaleidoscope of brilliance
both skies like canvas
for watercolor paintings
that progress as the light fades

in Chapel Hill
I arrive to a warm welcome
from a lesbian couple
who live in a grand house
with their sweet teenage twins
a burger and a beer
labelled “Slow Ride”
given my chosen route
drift to sleep
listening to the murmurs
of a 14 year old girl
recounting the day’s events
as she lays on the couch
cuddling with her mother and her cat
they giggle
and banter
as the girl explains
the complex relationships
and recent antics
of her friends.