It was somewhere in the middle of nowhere,
dark, open country, ghost highway of the desert,
that the radio crackled with static.
George Noory on Coast to Coast just talked to Reiki Master Gil Rhom Ni
about Sedona Energy Crystals LLC, finely tuned
among the abundant vortexes, bathed in sea salts, and scrubbed in sage
for four hours.
As Noory put the button on Rhom Ni, the bumper music came,
‘Only The Lonely’ by Roy Orbison,
and the engine started to sputter,
coughing on delicate silt, stressed by the three-day long run,
and the radio crackled with static.
My hands still stung from slamming them down on the hood.
I was gone, the ghost dance was over with her,
those long miles back along the Potomac shore.
I opened another bottle of Stella, tore the non-twist-off with my hand,
shredding more skin, tossing the tin crown to the road,
and belted it back, smacking the dash when
the radio crackled with static.
The commercial washed away in the wind. I turned down the sound
and heard a low buzz of mourning, some supernatural hum out in the desert,
as if God growled like a coyote protecting his young.
But God is not one to protect his young. He let’s them be mauled,
tossed at birth to wander the earth,
tossed at birth to wander the earth.
I jerked back to my beer when the radio crackled with static.
The headlights cast that “about to see a person in the road” cone ahead,
one of those eerie, probably dead hitchers you always hear about,
and then you slam on the brakes and their ghastly, white face is at your door
and then you slam on the gas, trying to get further away from that nightmare,
always trying to get away from death, running like crazy.
Noory came back on, but only to plug tomorrow’s show,
about magnetic reversals, the fickle moods of Gaia,
terrorizing us all through epochs of extinction,
all for her own senseless gain and loss. I mean
why did all of us have to suffer through these turns
of feelings and whimsical cadence. Noory wrapped it up
and the music faded down into a low grumble,
and then silence. Whatever the 10-watt station sitting behind a cemetery of sheds
had going, it ended right at three a.m. I drove awhile
in silence, a stuporous and satisfied buzz all within me
when the radio crackled with static. This time there were words,
like the children of the numbers stations, a girl’s voice in whisper,
“You have nothing here, the day is done,”
and I spit out the window, the wet blob hitting my arm.
For a split second, I saw the ghastly, white face at my window,
mocking me once more with her apologies,
and I lead-footed the gas.
I tore through this native place, ready for a simple life,
having left one ocean and ready to hit the other.