DASHBOARD LIGHTS

Dashboard lights reflected on the windshield

Late at night are my constellations, tattoos

Of speed and place, my personal magnetic field

As I head for coordinates I hope are true,

 

Setting circles projected on the howling cell

Of the empty night, icons of what my shell,

The metal cowling of a Chevrolet,

Gambles on the coming day.

 

Only these vague numbers, fueled by demons

In the furnace of the gassy world, keep

An even grip, the rocking of the deep

As steady as any star-bound rocket ship.

 

That I believe these backlit figures, set free

By a hand's hubris and tacked up on transparent

Glass, extremities of an unknown hurtling sea,

The promised land of my headlight's shaky tint,

 

Locks my drifting compass in its wheeling code:

Lost against receding rearview mirror lights,

Substituting for a darkened road

The whirling blackboard that the rider writes.

 

Tippet Alley

October 30th and 31st, 2010