The 575 Kilometre Breakfast

For Luke Lobaugh

Of course you must assess attraction!
Of course you must obsess!

The fire hydrant in front of the bank
wears its traffic cone like a dunce cap,
but does so happily.

I have forgotten Jerusalem.
I have returned to Constantinople.

Upon crossing a battletorn ridge, I sight
Freedom Way underscored by Freedom Bridge
and know where desire might lie.

In these, my disunited states,
I surprise even myself when, forced upon

brief relief in a gas station latrine,
I follow the scent of dung from four young men
who take turns in the room.

Their leavings, I note, do not disgust me.
They are sweet, nary a drop of blood, no tears shed.

At Kalama, water. Couples perambulating as if
the world wasn't churning out its own funeral march. The sun shone
upon the wastewater treatment plant. I felt proud.

On the petticoats of Oregon, time itself distended.
For a moment, I thought I could bite my own tail.

For a moment, the Devil pushed out his asphalt knees, and there,
between the pallid thighs of country, I thought I saw sun
and reached out beyond the parted trees, ready to bind the cross—

But the rough HOOOOOOOOOOON of a truck in the left lane,
Returned me to my task of ploughing the dirt and raising dust.