Issue 9 – Venable


Peter C. Venable

Thumbs Down

Pounding pavement.
Pounding pavement.

Hitching exhaust fumes
as semis and flat tops rage by;
campers and U-Hauls clog inner lanes.

It takes only one mechanical host
for this parasite’s ride on 95 South.

Two men with thistly faces taxi me
through Georgia in a crumpled van.
They snort cheap vodka, munch Milky Ways
and drawl about a paralyzed son
withering in a VA Hospital. A fly
buzzes in and out of hearing.

At dusk I’m jettisoned by an exit,
knee deep in retreads. Swamp pines
are saber-toothed against the Zodiac.

The headlights and hungry jaws of a bug-eating grill
roar through pitch, blast by, horn blaring

and red lights trails,

squeezes into a red spot, and

disappears into the black hole

of a deep December night.