A long day on the road brought on a long night’s sleep.
Awake now in a shadowless motel room, I open the curtain.
Outside, the thin scant pasture drawn over glacial rocks
is fantastical as sleep, dreams, or clarity in a strange room.
It is a space where nothing is blurred, or out of balance,
an oasis, with songbirds like choral chambers, and the sun
building palaces of light in lunettes of clouds,
pouring out brightness, depositing its warmth and promise
all across the morainal contours of the landscape.
By checkout time the sky has boiled itself into something more ominous.
Charcoal-ash-colored clouds roil, curdle, and blunt the light.
Feathery sheets of shimmering rain walk across the long line of far hills.
The birds are silent, the sun is a blank.
I see the front well up over the horizon.
I see it break across the plain like a wave.
I see it devour the long black cord of highway behind me.
I see yet another metaphor for my life churning in the rearview mirror.
The pink and purple vault of evening is closing in around me.
I am deep into this great, dark space in the middle of it all,
far from the lights and tombs of the city,
far from the press of bodies, from a world that unbalances me.
Exhaustion and darkness bring sleep,
a chance to go where boundaries do not hold,
where a fallen tightrope walker, whose imagination survives him,
who now climbs the long ladder, a true self at last, is perfectly balanced,
lithe and bold on the highwire, trying to prove his life was not a lie.