Wolfie Shuttleworth (2008-2013)
Blueberry Muffin Sky... Another Swallow of Cherry Coke
You're counting oncoming cars and trucks:
thirty-three between Soap Lake and Ephrata.
How easy to swerve across a center line
while mulling over how coyotes
quickly acquire a taste for sick llama.
The only yellow canine eyes ahead
are between royal-blue clouds.
The state is privatizing the sale of booze.
Coming soon to Safeway: long stemmed
white roses between bottles of Wild Turkey.
That's what you suggest to the clerk
who wonders why, at age seventy,
you give a crap if the Hershey bars are fresh.
At Ace Hardware the breasty young blonde,
who helps you find a package of D-rings,
says she can't go home tonight, My mom's
there with her new boyfriend who works
sometimes at the auto parts store.
It's human to seek borders...
to treat memories as if they are plastic
toys to be thrown off walls.
You like the idea of making memories,
so you offer what you hope can pass
as a dangerous famished-coyote smile
to the hardware girl... something close
to a three-chord country-guitar song.
The hound behind you in the back seat,
enormous head out the car window,
will never attend a funeral, a wedding,
or walk into Safeway and gaze,
pissed-off, at the syrup-romance
paperbacks written by hacks
of the fat former schoolmarm variety...
while considering the 14% jump
in the price of brown rice in two months.
Counting oncoming cars and trucks
in the reverse direction, you drive slower
so that the numbers increase.