Road Life

Why shouldn’t you too have a woman?

Because U.S. 36 has always poured possibilities
through your hometown, you squeal smoking out of A&W Root Beer
using acceleration for plumage, letting the road
tell you your story.

Your prospects widen and hum through Missouri
toward Colorado, farm after farm, like a C-Major chord.

At the 7-dollar Peoriana Motel in St. Joe your shower stall
proves roomy enough for even beginners
lathering each other’s shoulders and groins. Daylight
for devouring cows in the corn, thunderhead Himalayas; nighttime
for keeping her womb swimming in minnows that fishtail upstream
hundreds of miles, coming along for the ride
through conversation turning on bodies in common
which it turns out you’ve married. At Marv’s Conoco
in Mankato, money-numbers on the gas pump roll up their eyes
and whirl. What a breathtaking way to buy honeymoon!

While the radio wanders thickets of cowpoke guitar
homegrown in Nebraska, both kids bicker lightly in back,
tireless as static playpenned and strapped down for travel.
The prairie goes gusting away, huffing you westerly
down a pipeline of sunsets gaudy as flags
dyed in watermelon slaughter. Sage-clumps whiz by like chenille

fleeing a bedspread. The Jayhawk Rock Shop & Curio Stand
keeps changing name in name only. Near Idalia’s town pump
one wind-devil filches salami clear of your sandwich
and feeds it to tumbleweed. Anne laughs
and you laugh and Tim gargles Pepsi.
Nicky skateboards brief swathes of sidewalk at Rest Stops
till wind stuffs you all back into the Chevy.
The game out of Denver is scanning through bug-splat
for the first cloud become mountain.