Southbound

Poetry by Melissa Carroll

I.
The seatbelt clicks as we listen
to sweet crushing water under tires,

headlights flicking in puddles
where strangers safe in steel shells
intersect and continue moving.

We coast under speed limits,
windows down to the metal, night air
full, elbows leaning overboard.
Yellow ellipses string the car

southbound, the night
merges with radioed songs. We ride
around the city, looking for that
which we still haven’t named.

2.
A population molded in Technicolor:
road workers in neon vests,
pale realtors grinning from benches,
a shiny prostitute sitting.

This place has all the trappings of civilization:
Athens, Cairo, Omaha, Tehron, Okinawa, Toronto, home.

Built with flecks of light
that invert and flare,
infinities burn white-hot in street lamp filaments
and there, upward
the seamless sky with
broken glass twinkling in the dark.

We cannot begin to see its depth so
we build another skyscraper to block it out.
How pretty, our reflections in the glass.

mcarroll-imageMelissa Carroll is pursuing her MFA at the University of South Florida and is an editor for Sweet: A Literary Confection. Her poetry has received the Kite Trick Award and the Zbar Prize, and has been published in Barely South Review, Greatest Uncommon Denominator and elsewhere. Read on at Zen on the Rocks.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

1 comment for “Southbound

  1. Winn P
    October 29, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Carroll really knows how to capture the current life!!

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