Why does sleep
always feel so instantaneous,
while the waiting
at this bus stop
trickles on
beyond the boundary
of my memory.
You can see through the waterfall
like fogged glass
caught in the past
of some dystopian hotel room
where the pictures
on the wall are just
the samples left in place
when all the frames
we’re bought and nailed where
they are hanging.
She wears her brightly colored vest
in the construction zone,
where she talks on the phone
under a red umbrella
bolted to the side
of her machine;
that flattens everything
in front of it.
Her lips are kissing
the burnt orange
of a cigarette
while the guardrails
get peeled
off the crooked
highway they are trying
to make perfect.
They settle
for the closest
they can get
and then regret
how they were never even
close to an epiphany.
A new mutation
in the alchemy
of smoothing out the road
so we can walk it
far enough to put
the distance
where it’s supposed to be,
behind us,
where the hills are green
and everyone owes everything
they’re made of.

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