Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

High Gravity

by Kevin Ridgeway

escaping into the wilderness of the night
passed stagnant pools from flooding lawns
hiding from the streetlamps and a mad dash
around the corner with wack-a-mole playing
dog gnawing at the air between my head and
his blood-parched fangs

barreling across the three-lanes to the
center divider gliding across seas of pebbles
passed a deserted midnight lunch wagon
being utilized as an iron pillow by rattled
tweak bogeymen finally in the neon glow
of the Five-Star Liquor Store with its sing-song
welcome jingle to signal my victory
over trickster gutters

there in the coolerator gallery stand rows
upon rows of dusty silver tall cans pressurizing
the toxic spirits within pawing my lint trap pockets
for the coins I meticulously counted and counted
again affording me three of these beautiful beasts
no chit-chat with the glum faded clerk but
polite enough to count out the exact amount
due plus my pagan's tax

and backwards through the obstacle course
beyond children's voices behind screen doors
the wafts of suppers permeating the air
as I scream through to the garage and violate
the first aluminum saint into the dawn of my
blessed anesthesia, and a few more victorious
pulls and the country music anthologies
come rolling out of the stereo in my broken
winner's circle of squalor.

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