Elaine Olund

Turnpike stretches,
endless, bleached asphalt scar
beneath morning sun, stretches
into mountains
Blue, Kittatinny, Allegheny—
they swallow me whole
plunge me into darkness
and back into daylight.

On this rolling green ocean
ridge tops crest like rogue waves
rising up from soft valleys
rippling with corn tassels.
I think of wind, of water
of how even the earth is always moving,
rippling over time
and of how I might ripple.

I’m crossing Fortune Teller Creek
questions roil in my head—
air-conditioner blasting, tears
falling, sunglasses steaming—
there’s no way around it, only through—
turnpike stretches on forever
through sharp red rocks cut, and
like my heart, slowly bleeding.

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