Arf

At the stoplight in Dogleg children swept metal
detectors over my hood, the road turned

into the aisle of a drive-in, cannibals
and flying saucers, I followed power lines

to Fido where they soak their walls of tavern
in sea holly and vinegar, to keep awake

I paced a train hauling mummies wrapped in sheet
music and hummed along, reaching East Cur

at dawn, I stopped at Temple Laika
to recite abecedarians with the other dis-

inclined, in exchange for a paper sack
of yellow apples I washed breakfast dishes,

in Blue Tick I let a crew wrap me in pony
blankets and push my car onto a bobsled track,

as I hurtled down the course, burning ice
I heard a crowd chanting "Kimchi! Kimchi!" after

sliding several hundred miles I ditched
the highway and took a logger's road and found

a clearing where I sat and ate my pilgrim's fare,
my respite's repast, I wept and hurled cores

at crows and smeared my hair with amber sap
and thought yeah, conductor punch my ticket,

I'm on my way to Sirius for some woof,
for some warp, I used my pocketknife to cut

three holes in the brown bag and placed it over
my head, ready for transgression, as I plotted

a course I noticed a tender caterpillar
in the passenger seat, I extended a finger

and placed her in the glove compartment
to take a breather, to grow into my silk ear.

by Peter Jay Shippy

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