Tales from the Chevy

by Dylan Terman


i. 90-miles-Outside-of-Sacramento Blues

splat against my windshield,
The quick and dull
of their tiny bodies exploding,
The mind-shattering
velocity at which they collide
against my Chevy and
Whaddya know?
Guts and flies
are all my eyes 
can see.

5 miles outside of one shithole town
or another and Yeah!
I’d rather fly!
Avoid the pests and
supposedly providential people,
who, in spite of their
Jesus-Loves-You bumper stickers
And Hallelujah Hands a-waving,
are performatively pious 
and wouldn’t stop to help
some poor lost soul
on his journey to fix a tire,
much less lead him towards
some eternal salvation
and - anyways -
are almost altogether nonexistent
as I pulse thru their towns
at 90 plus,
Praying to get to something
somewhere on the other side.

Drunk with boredom
Drenched in fly guts
is how I spend my time
nodding off and nowhere-bound.
But the splat of the bugs
is rhythmic, if not constant,
and all I’ve ever wanted
lay just beyond 
my dusty reach.


ii. Somewhere Over the 101

Rolling along an empty highway
with only wind’s whispers
to placate the solitude
When all at once she flows seeping
from the molten horizon,
where blonding hills meet dusking sky.

Beak of summering sunshine,
talons of wintery silver.
Sweet-cream head blends
with midnight body 
of caramel bronze.
She floats, steadfast,
ahead of my gaze.
Her dagger eyes cut deep,
pierce me 

and she is the Earth.
Rolling with the mounds of gilded green,
surfing through a dark tidal sky.
And she is the Stars and the Sun
and the Moon shimmering gently,
careful not to disturb
the dreaming valley below.
And the world is static
and life unflinching, in this instant,
her holy wings 
not lending an octave 
to the whispering wind.

And then she is dust,
ascended into the atmosphere
behind me,
and I am miles,
Miles away.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes