I-64 East

The lone slight girl by the highway
in the plaid shirt, pink backpack,
pokes out her thumb at the trucks,
the wind as they pass close
ruffling her cropped hair
so her blank face disappears.
The public radio station gets
fainter the further I get from town,
until the sharp concern
in the announcer’s voice
goes grainy as the photograph
I once found lying in a house
in the mountains with a collapsed floor,
privet sprouting like a crown from
the chimney. Far out in the country,
the signal doesn’t stretch anymore,
transforms by turns into the sound
of water rushing over rocks. A politician
arrived in town today, but I cut out early
before his plane landed, gunned the motor
and got gone. The sky blushes
clear down to the tree line. The stars
appear again. They’re brighter here,
out where there’s nothing much –
pert near enough to navigate by.

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