Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

Every night this week,
I keep dreaming
that you throw me out
the open door of an airplane,
into 30,000 feet of blue —

You fling me out head first,
without altimeter or oxygen,
no tandem partner lashed to my back.
You cast me into solitude and blue,

not endless blue but ended blue,
a sharp-capped blue, a snapped-shut blue,
30,000 feet of blue and love
before the blue stops.

You cast me into solitude and love,
into 30,000 finite feet of your love.

This must be the weightlessness of your love.
This whirl into vapor, this vertigo.
A broad gasp of green looms up
to crack me open and I do not know
whether the stones in the ground
whether the tiny houses, the lines of roads
are supposed to be a map to find you again
or just a picturesque countryside
to lull me down.

Is this the anxiety, the panic of your love?
Your love hammers the ribs in my chest;
your love is a scarcity of air, a burned lung —
a strained muscle, air pressure blowout–
I am trying to tell my body
we are all falling here at once
but some parts want to fall faster for you.

I cannot find the up of your love.
I am all turned around, I am whirled
head over heels over head
over heels over head
and there’s no way up,
no way down but down, but gravity
into slashes of blue and slashes of green
that circle and blur and whirl.
I am whirled; I am a world of your love,
a dead weight blackout of love,
a terminal velocity, a body dropped of love.

Every night this week,
I snap to wake as body breaks ground,
your name the cord of a parachute
clenched white-knuckle tight,
never snatched.

My Favorite Gas Station

Published / by Gabriel / 1 Comment on My Favorite Gas Station

There is a no-name gas station
on the north end of town,
11.9 miles out of the way,
out past the corner where
John Roe sits all day in the sun,
spits tobacco and sells onions
and oranges out of the back
of his rust red pick up truck.

There are bars on the station’s windows
and jars of pickled eggs on the counter,
right beside herbal male enhancement pills
and crack pipe roses. Pork rinds.
Refrigerator egg salad sandwiches
reserved for the brave or foolish.

There’s an old condom machine
in the men’s room, two feet to the left
of the pocket knife graffiti that says
Half a roll of paper towels, no soap,
and the faucet just trickles,
no matter how the handle is set.

The attendant has a face
like the inside of a cigarette.
She runs a hand through
brown grease pit hair,
charges 5 cents more per gallon
than anywhere else nearby,
and she never says a word.

There’s no good reason to come here.
There are better gas stations,
closer, cleaner, less treacherous,

but you ought to know
that every time the needle
on my fuel gauge leans towards E,
I drive up, pull in past the jagged potholes
that get deeper every month,

to suck on hot petroleum fumes
and top off my tank,
listen to standard unleaded
slosh down rubber hose,
and to enjoy, for a brief moment,
that I am a little nearer —

that for these few minutes,
you are 366 miles away.
You are only 366 miles away.