This is what it means to be a child of ten-lane freeways
Wide eyes rising to meet billboards of smoky eyes, always blue
Glazed and mascara’d, tilted up at impossible angles—
Simple, aimless. Shining eyes giving direction
To the unmarked boxes where desire lives
Always on the outskirts of town
Never far from the skyline, polished gleam of energy
Which, as an industry, is just a kind way of saying
The same cowboy deals we’ve been doing
Since the derricks were still onshore.
Driving in the country, we’d watch the pumps rise and fall
Like resting breath. We’d chant their names
Like zen koans. Our parents joined in, and we were all so happy
Because we could live well, down there on the bayou
And when we slept, we dreamed of money
Everything bought and paid for with the corporate card
And a company car to drive. How we might live
In the shining buildings with more of it, with their doormen and their cool tile floors.
Awake, I dreamed of ways to get there. I wished for blue eyes
To look up at someone, with just the right amount of longing
(an act practiced long enough to feel real,) to suggest
Desire, want, whatever a man might need.
Behind that: power greater than money or God
And all the good Christian values in the whole damn town.
So simple a child could understand it in a trip down the I-45 Beltway.
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