And here I am over Colorado, racing towards Vegas,
and the cracked red lands, and the lights of a buzzing Oasis,
I brought along Kerouac.
He’s made me desperate
to take off and write that way, and live that way, hopping
rides with wild abandon.
Outside clouds pile high on each other, and here I sit,
smashed in the middle,
bursting at the thought:
I read this book 14 years ago
when the country was still unknown to me,
all marked for treasure, Xs and lines and potential on paper.
This was before the country’s heartache,
before constant notifications and
gel manicures, sushi, home ownership, broken marriages,
before GPS and Instagram,
before terrorism even. I was an open road.
Stretching out, clouds settle in, thinning like hair,
I want to visit the Omaha of my grandfather, the wild and raw,
Model T dripping oil, hissing in protest.
He made it to the Hoover Dam and camped out,
he slept under stars that don’t exist anymore because
we’ve swiped them away.
Without a road taken, Vegas appears.