90 East

by Cody Kucker

(8:oo pm)
A Mexican woman
walks out of the gas station
with a bag of onions
in an ice storm.

The wind slants her,
composed of charcoal hair
and acrylic clothes,
anchored by her onions.

The neon light pours from the apogee of her
forehead, disperses down her form, disappears
where the black lapels of her parka flap unfastened,
while somewhere in the floundering crystal debris
ebbing near the ground are the legs and feet that tip
her into the cab that just came barreling through.

(12:30 am)
Like dogs
the semis sleep
perfectly aligned on
the side of the highway;
     a symmetry
     of variegated snouts
     and limpid silver tongues
     lap puddles in the parking lot.
          Their ribs tremble and shake off snow.

(10:00 am)
Sunday solemnizes the valley.
Lawn chairs and patio sets
abandoned by guests who left
when last evening’s fire died.

Churches stand exhausted,
freshly trampled shoe scuffs
having worn wet azure steps;
hollow open doorways

inhaling mists on a precipice
harrowing over the Susquehanna,
while the lorries droop along,
flags waving in empty fields.

Recently relocated from Massachusetts, Cody Kucker currently resides in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Back to Issue Five: Fall 2009