The car settles back on its brakes,
set in neutral, straddling train tracks.
I notice the absence of power lines
and pavement of God as the horizon ignites
and not a soul is around
to kick rocks across the wastes.
I grip and readjust
grip and readjust the steering wheel,
and the sun dips into an unknowable
tomorrow just beneath my fingertips
turning the hollowed pages of Lynda Hull.
I hold the supplies inside
her broken spine before we walk arm-in-arm
beside that black cathedral, drift
from a hotel windowsill, plunge
into a frozen lake creeping down every vein
slowly quaking. St. Christopher dances
from the rearview without a way back.
I plunge to forget, to keep inflated,
for something to open my head
and curl around my brain, make my heart beat
beneath her firm hand waking me, wipes
nebulas from my eyes. She points
through the windshield at the clustered alleys
of Little Chinatown she keeps coming back to.
She steps from my car and cups the amber light
of paper lamps, reads the cracked plaster like a map.
I am here, these are my borders, hold me down
a little while. Make me real to myself, she says
walking back, a jazz silhouette, and a lone horn
calls from reverberating steel and the bend of tracks,
that train we won’t catch. She ruffles snow from her hair
takes my hand, turns up the radio, not stepping back.
~ Taylor Supplee
Taylor Supplee currently studies creative writing at Missouri State University where he serves as an associate editor of Moon City Review. His poems have appeared in Midwestern Gothic and Paddle Shot: A River Pretty Anthology.
Featured artwork by Babar Moghal.