Saturday, April 5, 2008

send us your coordinates i'll send a saint bernard

13) You see these mountains. Green and green and green into the sky. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? That’s why I love driving Route 6. You see everything ripple with the wind, like an ocean of swaying fingers—sometimes, I want to drift away on it until I’m soaked through with the yellow and green of the leaves.

You know. But I’m rambling again.

I remember when I was a younger girl growing up in Warren. I knew two things: the mountains and the refinery. My father was an oilman, you see. Well, almost. He worked on the machinery. At night he’d come home covered in the grime of the day—oil splotches like treetops against his face in all different shades of black and gray. He looked like a mountain face in winter. Anyway, he’s the one who taught me how to drive a stick, and that’s why I keep this blue pick-up. When I was small, he’d sit me right between his legs and rest his chin gently on the top of my head. Feel his stubble? Feel his chin? And he’d put my hands on the wheel under his, and, as I took control, he let them hover so that he could give me over to the road.

God, I miss him. Clear days like these, these are the days he’d take me out and show me the country. Clear days like these—God, if only I could sit down between the legs of a split mountain: He’d put his hands over mine, and I’d drive the wind.

14) "The Milburnian"

This vessel sails to far off lands,
A breathing machine crossing sea and sands.
A thousand blinking eyes, glistening teeth
Create an air of unyielding command.

Emerging, in birth, from the deep,
A crude apparatus of misbelief;
Though it cruises intimidatingly
On living flesh it opts not to reap.

I decided, out of curiosity,
To board the beast on open sea.
Between fin and flag I stood starboard,
Knowledge of its function I aimed to achieve.

The Milburnian moved on its own accord;
No fault was found in its nautical course.
T'was long ago fashioned as mode of transport
And, used as such, was wonderfully adored.

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