Driving Through Utah

Jake Sheff

In accordance with the minerals, I sped
Down I-70 and encountered a land
That dispensed with me long before

My mother. There were shades of red
That carried our blood-borne vows
On towers that grew and shrunk

Into each other along that deserted road.
There were shades of green, the captive
Iron implanted by knowledge

Of a sea where no man drowned
(Until now). There were shades of blue
On white, shale and fossils, cultivating

Intense, biographical specks
For me to pose a question: Where were
Those shades of yellow I’d left

In all the landscapes and hours
I’d choked on after she died? Where were
Those shades of orange that wrapped

Around shades of purple in sticky
And salty invitations to dream
Of her, my dead wife? And like that,

There were no shades; there were
Miles and miles of sand and sky, and
The sun was all to disembark.

Jake Sheff is a captain and pediatrician in the USAF, married to a Corri whom he produced a modern Maddie with. They, in turn, were adopted by four animals. Home is currently S. California. Poems of Jake’s are in Otis Nebula, Poydra’s Review, Foliate Oak and elsewhere. A chapbook of his was published, “Looting Versailles,” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible.

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