Grime on a concrete overpass
gleams as rain spits and foams
while shipping containers
loiter in a vacant railyard.
A weedy gas station clings,
obsolete, to a gravel county road
like an ulcer, silent as a
Louisiana casino slated for
demolition. Not your reality,
you say, nor mine, but plenty
of invisible things are true:
quarks, black holes, loneliness.
Where can a man get a cup
of coffee in the sibilating night?
The Shonto Trading Post
crouches low against the red
flesh of the earth, selling bracelets,
baskets, handspun rugs. Sodas
that will jitter the nerves
of the placeless. So sink into
the dissolved lithium gurgling
from the Uncompahgre,
find the tranquility the water
promises. Pacify yourself in the
nude hot springs, strip yourself
of sanity, certainty, illusory
notions. Perch like the black cat
on the white F-150 at Jay Bros,
staring like the black and white
of our politics ladled over polite
conversation. This the land of
barbeque ribs on red trays, soda
in Styrofoam cups, crucifixions
of power lines carrying mycelia
of light across the switchboard
of America. One wire fizzes out,
one fluorescent bulb above
a greasy fuel pump flickers.
A spark flashes, a spruce ignites,
an entire landscape is aflame.