Hope for running out on the flats, under
the overpass that chutes this abstract
into bread home delivery, buckled up
from your front porch to my front seat.
The hyphenated bridge lane where motor
boards a dream of expansive happiness,
dinosaurs trapped in oil pits, a future
to run into red and green eyes
and out till no man's land. Past the refinery
into outlaw verde, unowned hydrotropic
life unclinched by regularity, ownership,
by a loss that has never happened: one of the
kinds of possible losses. You sang this
national anthem, your life parenthesized
by flight into cinema and depiction:
the sun sets orangely, tempers cool
the boss goes nowhere and the land,
lived from, bossily patriotic. Your name
retrieved from the web, the collocation
with the smash given to know
the unknown, blood furls gradually
from the heads and is never less
parenthetical. Texts still bundled
in your pocket switch to discreet mode, rings
engage the natural world in decoration.
Above the concrete marshes, the stars
can't make their empty lines believable.
Stars to shadow by, chase out of manhattan
where that marsh is brown and the old worlds
creep around on stilts with eeling baskets.
Banality will never be obsolete, like the internal
combustion engine: even the tracks
of unbroken yellow too fleet for
the escape artist, a mimic pile-up loops
in place of persons, in a question of sovereignty.
No place unmandated, no stretch without
the service stations marked in bold on the route planner.
These four lanes a horn of plenty blow out at night
the endless hunting lament, a fictional
surplus for continents learning to recognise their bounds.
In the outlaw west the wedding party tips
their guns into starlight glasses, fill space
with pellets to celebrate the belly's axle; fire
falling down burns a noose free, ash and sand
to put fires out and secure a slipless exit. Was this
really what you wanted, to splurge on a rider
the whole real an advert break? Do go on so,
then breath undeterred in the breakbeat meter,
singing for freedom to misuse national space:
the free ride which is no freedom
when at the edge of disaster
you find yourself in the back seat of the patrol car,
the reel catapults into pitch black, and over all of us
who still live the stars
crash down from their heroic outlines