U.S.1, Headed North

Pacific Coast Highway
Headed North

Down and Up the Hills of Fogtown
through the Golden Gate I flee, as
orange lines twist round the bay, a
glimpse of beacon. Alcatraz. I
thought I'd drive away from you. In-
stead I drive you away. In a
flat white Shadow, I caress the
morning coastline, redwoods growing
out of mist. The forest passes
like a Doppler on my right, re-
minds me of the rain and you and
mud, while you are lying under
Sutro Tower, finding ways to
lie. Dogtown. Population
Thirty. Past where Hitchcock filmed The
Birds. A condor rides across the
edge of windshield. With each hairpin
turn, I twist my wheel. I pass a
logging truck to find you, coast be-
hind a Winnebago, looking
over my shoulder, hoping that
you still chase me. Yellow diamond
signs state: HAZARD! VICIOUS BULLS but
to my left, the Pacific Sea,
rocks colliding with the foam. I
breathe in salt and pine. I grab at
highway, hot tar running away from
you, past Ukiah, Eureka,
where you are not found. So I look for
you in Big Foot's Souvenir Shop,
buy a postcard of an ancient
tree house, miss you in the Trees of
Mystery. On a seven percent
grade, I climb away from you, then
clutch at you near Mole Ranch, across
Elmer Hurlbutt Memorial
Bridge. I read each license plate to
see a sign: 2L84U and
YYS UP. I try passing by that
bumper, but it exceeds my
speed limit. Sixty-Nine. Sunset
sneaks with slow, blue darkness somewhen
near the Oregon State border.
With each headlight, I look up inside
the square rear view mirror to see
you will always wind behind me,
a cool gray Toyota. At last,
hunger takes me so I stop for
fries at the Paul Bunyan Roadhouse.
Night swallows me as I take a
gravel road, the scent of skunk, a
deer as still as myrtle trees in
Logtown. Switching off the lights I
step outside the car to see a

star rip out of space, fall to
earth. Owls hoot. I whisper wishes.

by Kevin Thaddeus FisherPaulson

Comments (1)

Very nicely done... Fogtown, Dogtown, Logtown... I drove the very same route a few months ago. Bodega Bay to Eureka... beautiful country NorCal.