Great Basin


The radio crackles like something burning,
snatches of gospel, fragmentary hallelujahs
through the smoke.
I leave it on.

It has been afternoon for days,
and streaks of dirt paint the windshield.
The spaces between towns
lengthen. There are no trees.

Columns of dust rise from the unmade beds
of lakes that have moved away.
Empty bottles roll
over the passenger seat.

The telephone poles are marching
into a sunset
that is further away all the time.
The wires sing in the wind,

always the same song,
in praise of something
outside of themselves —
the sunlight, the fire.