You are listening to the President
from a TV in a Cuban Laundromat
in the world famous southernmost,
thinking about a 40something divorcee,
says she’s an artiste,
really knows how to sketch.
But you take the rain check,
and stroll back to Hemingstein’s.
Can you really stomach the tour guide’s euphemisms?
Hem would’ve had rude words for that carnival.
Instead you look for a locals only bar.
Can you really deal with the conchs and queers?
So you repair to your ill-repaired poor man’s Benz,
glove-compartmentalize the parking ticket
and point it north, please.
Before McDonald’s opens,
on a 7-Eleven-less stretch of road,
driving a dinged up VW,
you hum an old blues tune never put on CD,
on your way to a Long Island cottage with no TV.
Look at the Jersey barriers,
like groins they collect detritus:
metal rusting, re-treads, plastic soda bottles,
the shatterings of windshields, butts, litter, road kill,
everything an element of something larger,
being ground and vibrated,
oxidized and biodegraded
into smaller particles like poisoned sand,
survivable at 70 mph in the AC with the FM,
or even at 50 mph with your window open
to the stale breeze and
your CB undersquelched
to the microphone etiquette of a long-haul trucker,
“Y'all have a nice day now.”