yellow number five
by Austin F. Bader
I woke without speaking, spoke without breathing, lit a cigarette and then commenced to thinking…was I on fire, or just smokin?
put my pants on, both legs, same time, felt fine, looked around to find that I was sitting down…yeah, sitting down
ate without breaking bread, stood up too fast, racked my head, a fretful dread abounded all about me…yet I regretted nothing I had said the night before.
and Blanca was as I had left her…dusty, a trifle musty, and stinking of gas. So I hit the gas
she turned over without teasing, settled to a hum without wheezing, for her the altitude was all too pleasing, must have been the high octane she’d been guzzling
with her warm, we slid into gear, bid the merry melee goodbye, and got on out of there. passing towns without care, five-hundred miles without a stare, seventeen-hundred without a spare
the mountains mellowed to steppe, to plateau, to a mad smattering of vast elevated shelves on a great plain broken wide open. alone in this land one encounters many signs. signs that read…beware the buffalo, dust storms common, no gas next one-hundred fourteen miles
there are other signs as well. for there are no fences, no boundaries, just two boundless black strips…a gnarled aggregate of crushed retreads, petroleum and gravel, a surprisingly smooth amalgam where wheeled machines fly nearly as free as majestic birds of prey riding the serpentine thermals billowing through madeira toned cliffs and valleys
yet I pulled over, shut down the dim roar of the overhead cam four
and I stopped to wonder, to wait and to ponder, just where I had wandered…whether I had floundered, or had simply astounded the founding fathers of slaughterhouse martyrs in pounding down doors and bedding down their daughters. wondering if I had fought unfair, leaving them wrought with despair, or had merely cleared the sweaty air and made my way on…when a three-legged dog sidled up next to me
the pooch brought the rain with him
and with it…
a welcoming breeze