First, the pines monolithic in white sand moonlight
then the slushie blue and cherry red flashing behind
Paul’s old truck.
Sent us on our way when he sobered up
thrust into the great big maw of the prairie sky.
One more Bob Dylan song and I’ll scream. He smells so sour I wish
they hosed him down in the tank. Body wash. A luxury.
All the fragrant people forgetting they have dirty arseholes
Just like Kerouac said. Just like Kerouac said.
That sky went from one side of you to the other,
terrifying the god into people, that sky.
And then the mountains, the raised hackles of earth.
With your heart in your mouth, you forget you’re hungry,
you have other, metallic tastes.
A highway where women disappear like they’ve been
swept away. A straw broom for the poor people, the
same thing them stupid first pigs made their houses out of.
Down through clouds at sunrise,
2 hours on the ferry and made 14 dollars playing Jesus songs
for bread and cheese. Can’t get cold cuts, they go bad too fast
sleeping in the spruce bush. If it don’t keep,
you’re throwing up with no healthcare
At some point we rent a motel room by the week. Cereal and milk
on a good day. Tourists are on their way out, it’s September.
Steven has AIDS and he says there’s a church where you get
apple juice in boxes but they stamp your hand so you only get one.
We pretend the ketchup packets
from McDonalds where we go to pee
are spaghetti sauce. Someone takes money from Steve and
he is about to bite them, yelling I have AIDS mother fucker
This is around when I leave, and you throw yourself in the ocean
because you are human litter.
Tried to clean up the best you could but there’s
crap everywhere still
and I’m still hungry most of the time
Dawna Matrix wears many hats, including insurance broker, poet, mother, chauffeur, and occasionally just a chapeau made of fire. She lives in Oshawa with her husband, daughters, and a grumpy cat.