I was walking along the highway yesterday morning with Melissa and Rufus. Every new place I explore, I always have a particular relationship with the road.
It’s hot, unshaded and puts me at counterpoint with the cars driving by and fenced-in barking dogs, warning their owners of my presence. However, the road is also a guide and point of connection and courtesy: people slow down to allow me to cross, and I nod and wave in return, to thank them.
I started thinking about the personality of the road here, and wrote a poem personifying the double yellow line, which in some places is worn or nonexistent.
The Musings of the Double Yellow Line
Sometimes I think I continue forever. Other times, I know I do.
Am I then The immortal judge that rules the world? In the Beginning, There was the dense sticky charcoal broth: An acrid stench. Then there was the word, Which I rolled in my mouth, And this word was I.
I spoke my fluid neon sense Into the turf. When the world grows dark Each and every day, I am the impartial line, The soft yellow glow that divides This starless universe in two.
My white ghost parallels my course, Reminding me that I am not yet dead. He marks the crossings to the other sides. There is the right way, And there is the left. There are times when I forget which is which.
I remember being hot, Watching heat rise up off my body Melting the air into viscous oil.
I imagined an itch Trailing down the length of my line. Then, I craved the wheel’s fury, For them to burn scars, To challenge my inertia with their momentum.
I got my wish. Two Beasts charged. Crossed my line. In the jostling for position I was ground up, Fused to rubber, Pinned down.
The larger beast Ejected something; An interior sacrifice Flung skyward.
The other beast moaned, And lay on its side; Its four wheel demons hoisted upward.
Then rain swept across my flank. The oily heat fell back down, The steam subdued, The world turned slick and still.
Leaving me to contemplate my reign, Shared between my better self, My worst self, And their two white ghosts.
I urged my consciousness to surge Forward and backward, Along my rectangular frame. Away from the toppled monsters, The fallen heroes, And these signs of hell, In which I had no part.