70 East, Monroe County
Jesse Breite

The highway crests out of the lowland,
crowned on either side by naked trees.
They spike and lumber, wretched
like the blues in Memphis.
The earth wets with risen water.
Hieroglyphic terrains submerge.
Light pours through cirrus haze.
Snowmelt trickles into breath-blood.
I think of the year as prismic,
fat light blunting colors to brevity.   
Emily says she waited for me.
Histories churn in atmospheric sciences,
dirty puddles, leaf-meal, weed-root.
The land gallops through my chest—
its hills and grasses. I absorb
kinetic chronicles. The textures
of generations thicken into my skin.
I feel the urgencies of old men, women,
crooked mountains, road-grit, empty cans.
Suddenly, as if retrograde, out of me:
a speeding pick-up truck heaves past.
It’s a black, silver planet of gravities.
I wonder how one escapes the past
and its animals, outruns inevitable stops? 
Rainwater flares up angelic behind
the wheels, enveloping its muscle.
Into the road’s horizon, it squints out,
while the Arkan-earth eats what it can.  

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