As you drive northeast through hills
crumpling and fading in rain
the horizon line warps to flatter
your otherwise failing ego
by centering you in a world
too small for its own ambitions.
Oncoming traffic shudders
with threat, but keeps in its lane.
Villages crouch by rivers kinked
like the cheap garden hose you bought
the morning after I dreamed I cut
my throat to honor some pagan god.
I warned you never to drive
alone in hard summer rain
with a criminal conscience brimming.
You don’t need actual felonies
to smelt yourself into an agon
Sophocles would nurse into drama.
To invoke similar catharsis
you only need landscapes adrift
in the corners of your eyes
while you cling to highways
that threaten to ghost away
in every direction but the one
you need to negotiate.
Stones creak as the rivers engorge.
The villages don’t recognize
the passions that empower you,
but even in the yellow rain
I could trace you by the trail
of fire you’ve spilled in passing;
and if I wanted to spite you
I could map it right to its source.