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a poem by Lauren Tivey (2 of 2)

Route 10

Flat tire and no spare, fried and alone
in the terra cotta Arizona landscape,
with the buzzards and cacti. The sun
messes with my head. A battered

pickup truck nears out of the floating
highway haze. How many bad horror
movies have started this way?
I think,
as a cowboy boot emerges, then another.

There is a shadowed face under a hat. His steps
echo off pavement; crooked desert in a silver belt
buckle, spinning sky, tight fist of my heart--and then
a rich drawl washes over me. A scroungy mutt bobs

in the front seat, full of friendly goofiness, and my muscles
relax. Rattling down the road to the gas station, the dog
kisses me, over and over, as the man smiles--as if
he's done this before, as if this were a good, safe world.

© by Lauren Tivey
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #13 ~ January 2011    previous poem