sounds from a car radio playing at the scenic overlook of the Moki Dugway – Bracklinn Williams

gravel beneath our backs and heads
bites like little blunt teeth as
we lie alone in the desert
beneath a night sky strewn
with lights like grains of sand.
we name the Pleiades
as falling stars burn white and green
through air that only looks this clean.
we are the only souls for miles.

I brought a single bag of clothes and socks,
a folded map, a pocket knife,
and a life’s savings worth of quarters.
she’s driving. I turn the radio to the 2030’s channel
and she rolls her eyes but sings anyways.
while the the earth splits and the sea rises and the sun swells
we are pacific-bound
neither quake nor storm nor fire can hold us down
in this air so hot it shimmers.

there are only so many dinosaurs left to burn,
only so more many miles this engine can sputter through
before society catches us in its quotidian teeth
and begs our mercy through the death throes of its misspent youth
yet for now we plug our ears
we seek only to sate our hunger, our need, our love
of motion. for what will pump our blood
if not the pulse of this engine?

we will never reach the sea.
this tyrant sun will blind our eyes
but when night finds us
we will open the moonroof
and listen to what the stars have to say.
when we round the last switchback
and the dust of the desert stings tears from our narrowed eyes
we will still be alive
we will still be alive