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๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ด

You canโ€™t outrace the shadowsโ€”

Particles of gloom invade your tiny

Quadrant of the earth, as

The Studebaker Sun speeds on

To California,

Careering off horizonโ€™s edge

In shuddering sparks of rust,

Lost in the traffic of the sky.

But your soul is still in hot pursuit.

Afterimage imprints of

Celestial motion picture taxis,

Waiting for a fare in San Francisco,

Your scuffed Florsheims, travelling quick,

Leap onto rotting running-boards,

Your crushed fedora nailed firmly

To your crown of skull,

Brim turned down to shield the eyes

From Hollywood Depression glare,

As that icicle of a Jack Armstrong/G-Man/Wheaties

Badge of righteousness

Freezes blood spewing forth

From heartโ€™s fourth ventricle,

Punctured by mistake

In your haste to be an agent

Of the law.

You clutch the car in desperation

As it takes another parabolic curve

And youโ€™re certain that youโ€™ve lost the prey

As the driver floods the engine

In the alcohol excitement

Of the chase.

You are stranded now

And find yourself off-course

Bewildered in an unfamiliar

Quarter of the City,

Where suspicion dances

At the edges

And you are static,

Immobilized against

The motion of the street,

As jack-oโ€™-lantern nightmares

Driving past

Ululate their anger,

Leaning out of open windows

And curse in fluent gibberish

From burning candle sneers of mouths.

The vision moves you

Once again

To seek some shelter

In the rapid-pulsing

Artificial dusk of bars,

Where you meet a woman

Who is not put off

By the exhaust exhaling

From your gut,

As you speak surreal

Of radio waves passing

Through the filter of a

Human soul, focused and intensified

In search of sympathetic

Stations, hopeful of decipher,

Rippling in the

Crystal sea of air.

Her eyes flutter like

Censored frames of film

That drift to cutting room floors.

In the amber light of cigarettes

You both are silent.

She attends to other things,

While you are contemplating,

With subtle fascination,

The phosphorescent image of

Your watch hands,

Radium brooms, sweeping

Dusty seconds off

The mahogany of the evening.

It makes you think of

Electronic screens

Maintaining trajectory and

Position changes, as

Vectors alter through

Angular displacement.

It brings to mind the Sun again

Now touring over Europe,

Unchallenged by the border guards

Who stand in photographic seizure

By their unquestioned duty.

You start to leave the room,

Yet hesitate on portalโ€™s edge,

Waiting for wisteria to free

The senses from the scissor-lock

Of black despair.

The mourning doves

Begin their somber cadence

As they feel the tremble of the daybreak.

You see the sky melting overhead

In ecstatic radiation,

As the mathematics of the world

Plug co-efficients in equations,

And radar flowers track

The rocket flare of dawn.


Stephen Thomas Robertsโ€™ poetry has been published in TRINACRIA, Poetry Salzburg Review, Explosion Proof, The Worcester Review, The Tishman Review, and Blue Unicorn, among others. He is a practicing attorney residing in Dutchess County, New York.

Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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