for Jan Weismiller

The whole day

lost suddenly to headlights,
to the roadside weeds that arch
as if they hold night’s still weight.

Rivers we cross go unseen—
the Salt, the Skunk, some narrow
bridge that’s all sway and rattle.

The air’s mineral, acrid,
as if it is being pulled
down into the hard, cracked fields.

Tonight the night is all rain,
not yet falling, elemental,
gathering itself until it breaks.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 6 Number 7, on page 47
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https://newcriterion.com/issues/1988/3/driving-south-from-iowa-city