Constellations Retreat before this Truck Stop Night by D.A. Lockhart

After sunset these prairies
hide their absence of rise
in the evenness of darkness.
Backlit Flying J road sign
declaring this strip of Wyoming
belongs to the constellation
drawn from diesel vapour
of long-haul truckers coast
bound. Private showers, ample
parking, and 24 hour steak dinners
just rewards for crossing the space
between. In this September hour
you know you make your own
gospel and the only surety
of the upcoming season
is the gristle of your 2 am sirloin
Here, under this portioned out
license plate of a settler highline
across Lakota land, that surety
carries the weight it must
before you sleep through till
dawn in a Ford Ranger cab
at great remove from the sign
that bleaches out the horizon
and expanse of stars beyond.


Copyright © D.A. Lockhart. Originally published in the Welter Literary Journal (2017).


D.A. Lockhart is the author of Big Medicine Comes to Erie (Black Moss Press 2016). His work has appeared throughout Turtle Island in journals such as the Malahat Review, the Hawai’i Review, the Windsor Review, and OSU’s the Journal. He holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University – Bloomington where he held a Neal-Marshall fellowship. Lockhart is a member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation. He is the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press.