Desert

This is a dream.

Cross country in a littler car than mine would be impossible but as it is we have our entire lives struggling to climb out of the trunk. You and I have nothing left to run from or to.

Like a dying delta the city stretches out before us pock marked and unfortunate. A beggar in the night. A starless night. I'd rather park but there's something either calling or chasing and there's no way to stop now, no not now you say, turning up the radio to find only static. There is no way to stop until we reach the heaving ocean and wade in thigh deep and are baptized.

I glance at you watching the curb fly by in six foot chunks out the window, fingertips drumming impatiently on the door wondering without saying whether we can go any faster. Because our nature is telepathy. The hours have begun to slip away in increments like grains of sand and suddenly i am not sure if i've been driving for 20 hours or 20 days but either way your hair halos your head with static electricity the wind is quiet and the city gives way to the heaving endless back of the west. Sleeping beast of a road curled up between ancient skeletons of saguaros. There is an oppressive silence to the desert.

I wonder if i'd rather you be happy than free, because i know which one i'd pick but you remain a mystery. Like sometimes your mind is some place far away and in the past. I wonder if you'd rather be diving into the pacific or running up 25 flights of stairs to the top of a clock tower throwing our beating hearts against rib high bars and peering out into the midafternoon sun that illuminates the cracks between dirty city sidewalks. I wonder if you'd like to curl up in the belly of a cactus and watch the sun ride over the flat expanse of yellow sand that makes its way into our hair and between our toes or would you rather sit here in the car with me drumming fingertips anxiously against a black plastic doorjamb staring out toward nothingness and briefly burning hints of stars.

The red tips of radio towers still flicker on and off as though they are oblivious to the impending end of the world. The crickets still chirp happily and although we are the only ones on the road burning gas and time it really could be any other thursday night. There is something thick, transparent and heady caught between us in the air like unsaid goodbyes or i love yous. There is something to the way that you glance backwards at me like a lizard without quite turning your head enough to say “i see you, but you can't see me.”

Tonight we will lay spread eagled and facing each other, fearful children on the roof of my car in the hot dry summer of the end of our lives. Tonight we will peer up into an eerily black sky and wonder what the future may hold and whether this is really the time we are living or perhaps whether we are just dreaming. Tonight I will fall asleep with my nose buried in the hair at the back of your neck and breathe in but find my nostrils clogged with dirt and stale air and running my hands over your breast bone i will search for your heartbeat until i fall asleep, hungry and exhausted but at least not alone.

Of course this is only a dream.