BY: Robert Beveridge

The needle at seventy.
The plains states pass,
one endless road and miles
of crops. Now and again,
corn becomes barley.

You, next to me.
The heat was too much;
you cropped your hair, left it
at the last rest stop
hundreds of miles ago.
Your t-shirt lies
on the cooler.
Seat half-reclined
window topless
seventy-mile-an-hour wind
dries sweat before it forms.

I don’t take my eyes
off the road. I have memorized
the clash of purple bra
on pale skin, the new hair,
the purse of your lips
that anticipates a smile
or a punch on the arm.
I know your curves, your scars
as the blind prophet knows Antigone.
The only motion the way
your stomach gaps from your jeans
as you breathe. I cannot
watch it; telephone poles
come too fast, too close.

Your fingers on my arm
all too brief, your lips
against my cheek.

The needle stays at seventy.
Barley becomes corn.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Blue Pages, Minute, and Chantwood, among others.