I saw the american skeleton, dragging its hind leg in exhaustion, desperation creeping in its spine, full of shivering cruelty and neglect.
It looks like dreary desolation of lost two lane highways, dust grime motels without a single car parked in front of them, and headlights going the opposite direction in the wink of an eye.
It looks like a barefoot woman, pregnant in the stern 3 AM lights of the emergency room in Nogales.
It looks like boxcars clanking in full moon cornflower dusk, going to a place without a name.
It looks like a junky sprawled behind the tarpaper shack in the sand, syringe guiltily nonchalant sprawled next to him.
Like a hot rod kid, arm loose out the window, down forsaken country roads, hoping to take off and fly away, but it never quite happens.
The next train out never comes and the teenage daughter repeatedly looks over her shoulder.
Like a Chicago mother of four dropping cigarettes out the kitchen window into the flowerpot.
It looks as if a great reverential machine has chewed it up, instant disassembly, spitting out the bones in unspeakable distaste at what we had become.
It looks like death, destruction, or old shipwrecks caught in the swell, drifting into the salty night-spray rocks again and again.
It passes in the blink of an eye.
It passes Wisdom, Montana, Jerome, Arizona, Lisbon Falls, Maine, and Grand Island, Nebraska and Amboy beer daydream.
It passes after hours neon fast food empire unseen- but for the droopy eyelid immigrant custodial denizen, too forlorn to impart a second glance.
It passes the great heartbeat alfalfa flanks of Dickinson, North Dakota.
It passes dusty kids beating tin cans and oil drums with their warrior sticks in rolling Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.
Passing by old Laramie, a truck stop woman gazes longingly, a barely audible beseeching utterance of take me with you escaping her thin red lips.
It passes thru the great misty streets of San Francisco, haggard, weary, looking for a place to smoke or sleep.
Looking back to the sweated-brow tanned-skin muscular frustrations of the workers of the Central Valley.
Passing Salida, Colorado, Osseo, Wisconsin, shrouded Redmond, shrieking Bayonne, shuffling misery through cigarette gutter Worcester.
It passes on, past the great curling wave of middle america set adrift in time, resolute a thousand years.
I remember writing a letter from the sun-parched shorn grasses of New Hampshire lakeside, delighting in conclusionary envelope lick.
I remember sitting on high street washing machines, news reports echoing down tinny and optimistic in stifling heat.
Thinking about a time when people spoke to each other on the subway, in line for coffee, on the bus, in the park.
Remembering, only needing a few coins and a few city blocks scoured to make a phone call.
I look towards the horizon, straining to glimpse american skeleton, patrolling the heartsick realm, his vision falling to pieces before him.
In Texas, a man kneels in the sorrowful scorched brown earth, whispering incantations and petitions to demons, praying for rainfall or death.
In Cleveland, a foggy midnight rambler, shoulder to the wheel, screams by at his apical burst, seeking highway love, or lust or remembrance.
In Indiana, a waitress tiredly listens to the glasses jump once more as the men slam down their fists.
In Death Valley, a rare desert plant begins to wilt.
And in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, the raw, merciless undertow of progress continues to weed out the weak, old, ill, destitute, and deranged.
At last, in solemnity american skeleton dips his toe into the sad sweet Pacific Ocean.