First Drafts: Craig’s List Ride Share

We drive from Maryland-to-California in four days.
There was no stopping, only blacktop humming under
Four mismatched tires. I felt embarrassed as I packed
My six over stuffed boxes of sweaters that I’ll probably never
Wear and crusty blue jeans that don’t fit anymore
into your car. All your belongings seemed to be
stuffed into a black hefty bag behind the driver’s seat.

We barreled through the flatlands of swaying yellow corn
And loneliness. We made up stories about the lives of the
People who live in this humid nowhere—the stories
Always ended up with the farmer husband going bugshit
And slicing up his perfect prairie family and then boiling
Their skulls to make headcheese. It was only funny for
a couple of states and then got kind of creepy.

You flipped in Colorado, your body going stiff and
Trembling, your jaw locked and grinding. You tell
Me about your time living here, traveling from motel-to-
Motel with your “uncle”. I start thinking I maybe
Should have brought a gun along, or at least a knife.
In the desert, we burned under the naked sun

And the radiator bubbled over. We stood over the
steaming engine screaming our throats dry, and then
falling to the boiling dirt laughing. We finally broke down in
Santa Monica, right where we needed to be. My
Girlfriend’s there to meet me. We drive away, I stare
Back at you through the rearview mirror.

You’re laid out across the hood of your useless wheels,
Shades blocking the smoggy sun, a smoke between your
Lips.

Thanks for the ride.


Evening Soundtrack: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds