September 10, 2016

Silent Rivers

Or: Drifting Almost to Sleep at a Texaco Near the Banks of the Columbia

In the least likely of places,
There is a new dimension.

Its margins are the lines constructed and connected by bare nighttime freeways,
Which flare briefly beneath determined headlights
Before hurtling with relief back into shadows that the stars cannot quite touch,
Shadows which cushion the hollow lanes and their skeletal shoulders,
Which offer some comfort to the travelers,
While the stars offer their sympathy
And not much else.

This dimension begins to emerge quietly from the blackness,
Its lines webbed by the cascading of soundless, invisible rivers
That become waterfalls as they plummet off the brink of daytime
And immerse this vast new paradise,
Occasionally flooding up into riverbeds beneath lonely bridges
And beside the travelers trying not to nod off in their parked and unaccompanied cars.

There is some memory of the world before and the world around;
Some of the streetlights glimmer like the eyes of the people you love,
Muting all their passion into the orange that keeps you softly awake,
Silently dreaming.

But the cities are far, and with them their noise and obligation;
Here you can let the lines of this new dimension settle onto your skin,
Adding new creases below your eyes, upon your brow,
And perhaps,
If you are lucky,
At the corners of your mouth.