“this ain’t no mecca” by Ayo Khensu-Ra

this ain’t no mecca

by Ayo Khensu-Ra

the line spreading out in the dark
drawing itself under the car past
denny’s and white castle, gas stations

huddling together under rough
bristles of an old gray blanket
Toyota van our walls
the prairie and marching rock
rising beyond the windows
slipping away toward the wide
darkening sea

clouds flushed
with light like blood
playing through
the latticework
of our palms

music booms out into the night
the van stands in another parking lot
and you talk about the pad of paper
you left at home, the gray-black
murmurings of your hands
the whisperings of your hands, of
ink and charcoal, of pad and pencil

day stumbles on to day, you say
how lovely the sunset is out past the bridge
past Land’s End, when the misty wall breaks
and the bounds of the world are again boundless.

I pick up a package of our things
papers calling like white sails from the sea
calling like the windy heights of home
and I know we’ll drive, ramps and
buildings sprawling out below, planes
drawing invisible lines in the sky

listen to echoes of announcements
wait in black chairs
listen for embraces

we’ll turn
I’ll turn
back to my van, back to Gilman
or farther and farther south
or to islands in the ocean

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