Nate Pritts


Driving west & the rain withheld
in the sky still I’m dumb in my tragic
reliance on maps. Police wave officially,
smiling & formal, imparting directions
around an accident pending. I can’t
see it. I deny it. I want to keep going.
Their language so imprecisely precise
or vice versa that I’m left with no choice
except to fall back on the library.
Archival holdings or, alternatively,
my future of blind optimism & jetpacks.
Cars veering off & my telephone
ringing, your voice made of words
glowing & hopeful. I hope. Re-routed
through towns, I’m imagining a life
made of sky, a front porch, clouds
overhead & kissing with lips. Kiss lips,
say the lawyers with gusto but without
much forethought. Feel with your gut
but don’t expect to believe it. We don’t
yet know something together & whatever
it is keeps us glued in our figuring.
Three cups of coffee, my eyes full of gravity,
& this song cranked up loudly about speed
or bodies in orbit colliding. I’m getting
weaker as these metaphors diminish
the poem with their detours. The distance
almost kills me though it’s only real
& not felt. My tractor beam heart drags us
into danger. We’re both trouble & in it
simultaneously; I hear you walking through
the door to a table of letters you wrote
& once meant. We’re leaving ourselves
behind. We’re not expecting but just checking.
My car still drifting in waves & the clouds
were directions to be read or misread.
The sky took on a softer hue.

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