Heading Back North

Issue 1 | Fall 2017 |


The zipper runs up Florida,
traffic teeth gripping certain hours,
gapping others, rednecked, bottlenecked
in clumps of coastal shoots sprung
up from Miami’s palmy fringe

that rainbows into bloom
until Gator Alley’s central swamp
sucks all colors in a browngreen,
invading pythons wending, winding …

We of Highway 75 angle north
past uncultivated fields — it’s real estate
in the aura of Orlando
until the northern woodlands,
their trees all wound in kudzu. Here
brush fires often seethe with acrid
smoke, detouring long-haul trucks
onto decrepit roads, past a listless
diner serving “homade hash” to no one.

Nothing’s vibrant here except the sunset
glowing on the freeway, silhouettes
of skyward pines, boughs laden
with gargoyle shadows. Now we’re close —
both sides devoid of human artifice,
we’re abandoned in the empty middle
as lights and darks whiz by, newborns
unzipped onto the asphalt stoop of space.