D.A. Lockhart

Constellations Retreat before this Truck Stop Night” by D.A. Lockhart
from the 2018 Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet

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.

 

Originally appeared in Welter Literary Journal, 2017