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April 14, 2021

Lewis & Clark

stopped at a party my night out of town

I had a quick four or five drinks and then I was on my way 

nobody could see my red eyes behind the black sunglasses

over a bridge crossing the Mississippi river into Missouri

suddenly I felt like I was Lewis and Clark exploring the west

sixteen hours lay ahead on the road 

full of anonymous small towns and decrepit bus stations

grew bored of boredom 

this wanderer had seen enough of america passing by 

through a dirty smudged window that wouldn’t open

it was time to explore up close and personal

finally got off after an all day ride on the old gray heaving bus 

feeling like someone had battered me with a baseball bat

but it felt good to be free -- to be me

hot dry air greeted me and shook my hand

shoes hitting the cracked and broken sidewalk

walked a ways into cactus and scorpion territory

the yellow and brown desert went from hot to frigid

seemingly in mere seconds as the sun died

hoofed it back into town or what was left of it

under a gas stations’ garish green and white neon sign

ate my late dinner of two candy bars

but there I was on route 66 in Arizona

feeling like there was nowhere better to be in the world

found a mansion to stay in for 25 bucks a night

laid on the bed with sounds of some mexican music 

slipping in through the hostel window that didn’t quite shut

the hostel clerk told me what part of the city to avoid 

so of course that’s the first place I wanted to go

walked downtown in the chilly dark of night with nothing in my pockets 

but my shaking hands and a few bills

went into a snarly bar that showed its teeth the moment I got inside

had a couple drinks among the unfriendly locals

got back to the room alright———- no wake up call

woke up early anyway by the bedbugs

a cold biting wind grabbed me by the collar

walking down the path of big stones to the coffee shop

a little breakfast and it was time to move on