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 ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Blue Pages, Minute, and Chantwood, among others.