West of Barstow, driving right at the sun, kinked as a minor league pitching coach late in his bus days. Sky unfolds red, clouds orange plates-- stacked, sorted, waiting for dark. Night’s begun. Loose stars blink on, off—just an errant plane out of Edwards. Thin traffic’s about done slowing you down. Driving fast, long and late towards a mirrored morning. Place a bet. Even odds you’ll stay awake. In blurred darkness small lakes of light line narrowing blacktop, set back just far enough for mystery. Your foot falls on instinct. There’s no softness behind that sunrise. Still these aches will stop and this long flat road will be history.
Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu was just published by Encircle Publications. A new collection is due out in December from Cherry Grove. He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife. Both are unemployed. A meager online presence can be found at facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter.