"We live on coffee and flowers
and try not to wonder what the weather will be."
- from Conversation 16 by The National
He says, "left or right?"
And I say, "What's left?"
He shrugs his shoulders.
So I say,
"Left it is!"
This is what is left:
one hundred hillsides freckled by yellow flowers,
a summer field
where an old, blue tractor churns up rows of sparkle-dust
and a service station called a "servicette."
"Does that mean the service station is female?" I ask.
He says: "We could stop and ask."
I start thinking about French words:
how some of them masculine and some are feminine.
... I still don't understand that.
But I like the thoughts of a noun wearing a fedora.
And a verb wearing a peacock-feathered fascinator.
Even though I'm pretty sure verbs are gender-neutral.
No matter. Chic nouns. Feisty verbs!
I decide to keep that mental exchange to myself.
He turns up the radio and says,
"I still like this song, even though it's old."
Say good-bye to my heart tonight.
I say, "Do you know where we are yet?"
Telephone wires loop-de-loop-de-loop up above us.
How many conversations are churning through those wires right now?
(Some words are static. Some are electric.)
He says, "Nope. No clue."
Primroses and thistle bloom up out of the ditch lines.
I like primroses because they look like paper lanterns.
I like thistle because they look a little bit punk-rock,
purple spikes and scrawny stems.
Horses move, strong and steady,
stomping against their shadows.
Let's run away and don't ever look back,
don't ever look back.
And I say, "It doesn't matter really, if we're lost."
We drive into the twisted places,
where telephone poles are bent,
where the trees are bowed,
but not by choice,
where orange X's have been painted across the skin of busted buildings.
"Search and rescue," he says.
"The X means they've already searched there."
"I hate storms," I say
as my eyes drift up and up,
following the path a tornado demon-danced up the mountain.
We drive through the city.
We drive through the country.
The road swivels and loops until I wonder
if a road looks like a word from the hawk's eye view.
Wander. Wonder. Lolly-gag. Whirly-gig.
Lost again. And then ....
"Cool," he says. " ... I know exactly where we are now."
That's the best kind of adventure, I think,
when you find home
even though you weren't looking for it.
Do you have a favorite place to get lost (or a favorite person to get lost with)? Let me know down in the comments. Then turn off ye olde computer, turn in that last research paper, and go play in the sunshine. Happy Monday to you sweet people!
(Also, I promise not to frequently write posts in verse. I was feeling a little poemcrazy today ; )