Is This Heaven?
No, it’s freaking Iowa, with sun-kissed cornfields surreal
and Dali-esque. After you inquire about heaven on earth,
we play a silly game with license plates and vehicles
for least three counties, your voice a switchblade
slicing the silence within a dim sedan. Utterances
that pierce me, over and over. You light cigarettes
periodically, chuck their ashen remains out the window
as the radiator’s rattle insists on serenading us. So much
space here, you say. Too many silos and smokestacks
fading from the rearview. I step into a sterile restroom
at a truck stop near Des Moines, listen to semi engines
droning like nests of wasps. Daydream about driving
machines perpetually pushing toward their unknown
destinations, the deliberate clutch and shift of gears.
Winter spoils quickly like fruit left on the counter. I’m all extra blankets and long johns. Too many layers of fabric rubbing against my body, inciting panic. If what we ignore ignores us, we’ll discover which truth is the right truth to follow. By now the lakes are frozen and the sky is dismal gray. I’m weather-weary, whiskey-throated, frazzled as anxiety drags its nails across the back of my neck. If what we neglect neglects us, our pockets will be filled with the varnished beads of broken rosaries. Or good time phone numbers scrawled on matchbooks. If you stand close enough, you will hear desire conduct itself along the tracks of my nervous system, over my frostbitten skin. Everything we love inspires fear. Tell me which wine pairs well with melancholy and we’ll drink until first thaw.
Adrian S. Potter writes poetry and short fiction. He is the author of the fiction chapbook Survival Notes (Červená Barva Press, 2008) and winner of the 2014 Lebanon Poets’ Society Free Verse Poetry Contest. Some publication credits include Interrobang?!, Clare, burntdistrict, and Ayris Magazine. Additional propaganda can be found at http://adrianspotter.squarespace.com/.