I live west of the winding rivulet
it's so narrow you can see the other side
you could walk there, if you tried
it's marked on maps
it's got a name
but it's narrow as a snake
it's just a shallow grave

I've heard of women driving
off the interstate bridge
with their kids in the backseat
tightly strapped in carseats
screaming all the way

I've heard of men jumping
off the interstate bridge
with their briefcases open
they jump off silently
and their papers follow them

I live east of the mountain ranges
my ears pop when I drive there
but confronted with the majesty
the rocks and dirt
the snowy peaks
they're as short as foothills
the pressure equalizes so quickly

I've heard of kids busking
near the river's banks
with their guitar cases open
hoping for cash
as they cover favorite songs

I've heard of artists living
near the river's banks
with their walk-ups infested
they sidestep canvas and roaches
as they await their big break

I live between the oceans
on a flat expanse of land
the fields encroaching on three sides
block me from dreaming
block me from leaving
I'm stuck fast as the interstate
the only way out is underwater.

© Jess Zelhart, 2006. Thou shalt not steal.

  +  back  +