The whole drive back, we say nothing.
The dead, brown grasslands roll by,
bleakly faded by the southern sun.
Alan, out of drugs, dry-mouthed, and frowning,
drowns in the glare of the bleached white road.
Jack, holding a warm beer can
and a cigarette, hums along
to some imaginary country song.
Tight-lipped, expressionless, he turns to stare
directly at me through his dark shades.
The hair raises on my neck.
I know he can kill, but we are tight.
Or at least we had been. Still,
I am starting to wish I had a gun.
He said we would have fun. This isn’t fun.
This is the aftermath of not enough money,
too many women who smelled of cheap perfume,
cheaper tequila, and strong men who long ago
went terribly wrong.
High above, I see vultures.
I wonder what they are circling.
I am desperate to be anywhere else.
Texas is too big for a day, a week, a lifetime.
I search for the horizon, but that dark line
that separates here from there, today from tomorrow,
what is from what might be, blurs and trembles
until I wonder if it no longer exists.