A girl puts her head on a boy’s shoulder; they are driving west.
—Gallway Kinnell

The cool tangerine sky.
Outside Wells, Nevada, a belt blows.
They have their whole lives ahead of them.

At the garage, the mechanic listens to classical music.
5 hours to kill in the killing heat.
She will have a bout with breast cancer at 58.

They walk around town, game for adventure.
Storage units, Check-n-Loan, acupuncture.
One of their children will break their hearts.

He could get a tattoo while she gets her nails done.
A boy throwing a rubber ball against the parking-lot barrier.
Dog pens in the trailer park.

Hardware store: drawer-pulls and doorbells. Beef jerky, car air fresheners.
He tries on cowboy hats.
At 72, he will begin his slide into Alzheimer’s. She will brush his teeth.

Somewhere, someone is practicing a clarinet.
The mechanic offers them tomatoes from his garden.
They pull out at dusk, her hand out the window, arcing and diving.

The stars, the sage. They could be anywhere.
Their carpet will turn powdery and dank. There will be grandbabies.
The cool of the earth, tangerine.

About the author(s)

This poem won third place in the BYU Studies 2014 poetry contest.


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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X