Jan/Feb 1999 Poetry

In Your Hands

by C.E. Chaffin


In Your Hands

The desert two-lane flashes
its white segments so fast
you forget asphalt discontinuities
and think the dashes connected
toward some future rendezvous
where night and morning join
in a sunrise of stars that will explain
all the causalities that propelled you there--
but your eyes are sucked back
to this moment, furious and finite
as a fly seizuring against a screen.

The yellow smears on your windshield
are souls you've hurt without knowing.
The whistle through the window
is your suspicion of yourself.
The radio plays country
because you really are that simple.

When it's time to pull over
you are no closer to but no further
from your goal. In a waking sleep
you see topiaries of exhaust and dust
in the shapes of visionaries:
Jesus, Blake, Jules Verne.
Were they just as rooted to this moment?
Or did they veer off into the underbrush?
Your hands grip the same wheel.


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