Flying Through the Asphalt Night

Charles F. Thielman

Starlight spurs across sidewalk
and façade as the midnight iris thief
hurries to replaces the blooms of loss

before sky becomes a cold blue wash over skin.

Small vase duct-taped to dash,
his ’76 Olds wagon out of Chicago,
launched at dusk. Hoping to roll past

Custer before moonset, he lip-syncs a radio song

to the mirage climbing out of a rear-view mirror,
her face opened by laughter. His hungers
for the road pulling him west,

he pauses beside a Dakota field, rolling

off blacktop to listen to sky cried awake by the stars.
Autumn’s sea of sounds surrounds the dark bones
of his steps, blue-gray sheen on fields of frost,

crescent moon crossing, slim phoenix en route

to brushing wave spray silver, slow dancing
her light over an incoming tide.
A sudden memory of her touch

on the back of his neck pivots him
into watching the darkness become deer.

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