If There Is a Message in the Clouds I Will Find it Tonight

Without any money at all and a cell phone gasping for connection,
I stride up Highway 278 looking for a place to get gas.
The light on my piece of shit car stopped working a month ago,
so I am always guessing when it is close to empty.
I guessed wrong tonight.
I need to beg for cash too when I find a station; and
I’m sure I look suitably beggar-like about now:
not shaved for days, grease marks on my shirt, and a scowl
straight from the bottom of the barrel. Bad night to drop
two hits of acid on the way to Austin, though

nights to Austin usually go this way. I think the clouds are gathering
above me — unsuitably angry in thick, grimy, wet ways;
I can see faces of those I’ve hurt above me being swallowed by those
who hurt me, a wall of gray hurt eating each other
and now fucking rain, torrential, God’s torrent, bullshit.
I am a fucking fool in the rain in this black night,
this end-of-the-line scene. I am a shaken tiger
wanting his meat. The falling water strikes like needles,
and I run back to my car, a mile back now. Fuck the gas,
I’ll sit in my car and escape these faces weeping on me.-

What the fuck time is it? Nearly three in the morning,
always the same time every night, the same long day into each
brutal night. Where the fuck is my car? The road opens up
like a dry, addled vein, black with dust, pissed off
at its own desolation, as veins can feel after times of neglect —
veins want to be loved, as they travel their long journey
from heart to fingertip. I am dying in this rain, these cold, cloud
eyes staring down at me, judging me: look at this fucking boy
running along this pathetic vein, his security a paltry ’93 Toyota Camry,
with 234,000 miles and a bumper made of coat hangers and rusted
bumper material shit. I think God is one of the faces

now, and this one seems to have a beard and looks even more
judgmental than the rest, and the one next to him looks like her.
I think they are laughing; I think they are fucking;
I think my feet aren’t moving anymore. I look down
and am standing in mud. There is no road, though there are trees,
menacing, fucking crazy trees, but where the fuck is the vein,
how did I end up in the lungs, these swaggling, burlish puffs
of breathing — is swaggling a word? I don’t know, but this journey
through the body is confusing and wet and full of faces from my past
that taunt me, the lost boy, the petulant tiger, crazy,
running deep into the body at three in the morning
drenched by rain and lonely as the farthest stars in space.


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