Scene from a highway in the desert, 1989, first draft.

I let the car drift some,
Eye your uncomfortable pose and profile,
The postures of long drives.
Shifting numb and sore parts
When you can no longer sit them.

Foot on the dash, foot on the dash,
X hours or so from some somewhere now,
Only half aware when I change lanes half accidentally
Vision fixed in the distance, identifying wildflowers.

And then I almost touch your leg,
But something stays me.
The economy of love in close quarters,
A learned thing.
In contrast I am marked quietly alone.
Of the small rented spaces we have slept in,
Tents even, sometimes,
In this tiny capsule.
But hurtling uncertain into the inferno of forever of here.

Which it does to me, the desert.
It has effects, makes me mark things needlessly.
The immensity of breath is all, I guess.
Overamplifying, overconnecting
Makes me see all small simplicities
Significant, substantial
Makes me seek out symbolism
Search in the symmetry for some lost stigmas of the self,
These words that hiss or makes snake sounds.
But it feels holy almost, though I don't say so.
A native sense, but not skeletons and headdresses.
No projections found in thunder clouds shaped by soundless lightning.
It is an extra sense
A Pentecostal thing
Unnamable and great
An immortal unknowing
Sacred and ancestral and real and only felt here when the sun falls.

Only felt here, now,
Where the otherworldly haunts
Of coming dusk descending from immeasurable spaces
To more immeasurable spaces
An ancient, endless desert sprawl,
Anarchic, forever,
Interrupted only by this highway running west
Some wound maybe, or a bandage,
Depending on how you look at it
Or maybe just what must marry the two vast expanses
A mirror reflecting both sides
Or a path more than anything
But who cares what.
A bridge through the history
Of a place where a watch doesn't work
A guide through wider spaces than the baggage of unclaimed except in concrete
A place you might claim one day, some day,
You and I, for us
When we get to wherever it is we are going.
And you speak (???) and alone,
Single landmark
In memorial now,
And the landscape that always passes but never passes
Does, finally,
And we see time again
For remember the mirror pointing backwards
All of a sudden watching the paintbrush shrinking at last light.

And then I think again to touch your leg,
But something stays me.
Some voice, yours and mine,
Combined, and the rain to come sang quiet
First and then just (???)
So I crack my window just so,
Almost close my eyes and almost let go of the steering wheel, but don't.

It feels impossible for me to crash the car when we are in it.
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C Lyrics

La Dispute – C Lyrics