Friday, August 05, 2005

Hitchhiker -- Jack Marshall

Each man to his forced march; this is mine.
In the end, everything runs out, runs
Under the wheels--a bandage unwinding
On the center line. Sometimes when my ribs clang
Like a metal signpost at the edge of town,
And so much of the dark I cannot shut out
Crawls with me into my sleeping bag,
I try to think where the night owl goes.
For years now my life has taken
No sharp turns, no climb, no detour,
But moves in neutral down
This smooth tar lane, one way.

The towns en route, the festooned, blazing towns,
Are they dreams in my sleep, vanished
On waking? Even so, watching that white line
Grow thin and luminous,
I feel the moon's hub unhinge from center
And roll berserk.


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