A man stands on oiled chipseal, camera in hand.
The highway undulates distantly, nearly straight,
as heat-shimmered dips lend the appearance
of road-fracture, shifted along a series of faults.
Dust devils thrash and compete for attention
in a parched and freshly-turned field at right.
Opposite, crate-like bales of August grass-hay
are parked like rows of cardboard-cutout Beetles
while an abandoned red barn attempts to hide
behind a windswept row of scraggly scrub pine.
Even the most peripheral of visions tells him
that sunlight filters down to a mud-dust floor
through threadbare rafters bereft of shakes—
but he heeds nothing: barn, bales, nor devils.
He stands on the oiled chipseal, lost in thought:
They say the unexamined life is not worth living.
Far ahead, the paved ribbon appears to terminate
at twin peaked silos. Like one of Madonna’s bras.
Behind him, a Leaf has blown up, nearly silent,
and a sixth sense, perhaps, alerts him to danger:
he turns, astonished to find the electric Nissan
close enough for him to discern the expression
on the driver’s charged face—and she is smiling.
How long does this moment last? We are unsure.
But the Leaf is yet moving.
And still he stands.