Thursday, January 8, 2009

I-95



I-95 is outside my window
it is one long hum, it is a chorus of tires
it never stops
the city must have been running out of room
when this building was built
did the contractors, investors and buyers ever think
of the sound endured by people
people who'd work in this place?
probably not

I-95 is outside my window
while I'm on the phone, I'll watch it go
whoever is on the other line has no idea
of the fascinating movement I watch
it's all just red blood cells moving through an artery
where are they going?
all of us, the cells, the roads, the capillaries
we are the blood
America, the body

I-95 is outside my window
Today, I saw a white truck go by
It said: 'MS Carriers'. MS is Mike Starnes
When I lived in Memphis, I carried his golf bag.
He was a kind man.
He had pale eyes that seemed worried.
I'd carry his bag and he'd tip really well.
And now I'm here.
He must be very elderly now.

I-95 is outside my window
the orchestra of rubber tires and asphalt
it is an endless yawn from a benevolent giant
a bowling ball rolling around God's steel drum.
I've worked here a year and a half now
and I have to remind myself that this sound is here
Some days go by achingly slow.
How long will I be here?
Soon, I'll be 36.

I-95 is outside my window.
Almost once a day....it happens
My back is to the window
and amid the hum, I hear it!
screeching brakes, SCREECHING BRAKES!
(i wait for it)
the smash, the metallic laughter of a rolling car
(i wait for it)
it never comes

I-95 is outside my window
sometimes I see a car has broken down
the driver emerges, a human being
has come out of the river
some help comes, or maybe
the driver has just emerged
to take a leak
then the driver leaves
and I go back to work

2 comments:

  1. Totally brilliant. Absolutely. Mike Starnes passes through your life again. That stanza and the last are something else. We are waiting for the sound of collisions and screeching brakes. It doesn't come. Not yet. We know it's going to happen, even while the white noise of the road goes on. Great stuff. Very glad I read it.

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  2. I95 is outside your window
    Maybe I'll wave when I drive by
    or not because I don't know
    where your window is
    I could just wave the whole way
    but my hand would get tired
    that's not safe
    also, I'm in France
    so that would be tough

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