Just another day
in a long chain
like Love’s Travel Stops
along the interstate:
get past one
just to get to the next
and the next,
to the one, two, ten,
a month’s-worth after that,
chasing horizons
you set high for yourself
when you were younger.

The impulse, though,
to just stop,
give in to sleep
(or something deeper)
perforates, permeates
your thoughts,

so you listen
for a baying at the moon,
a righteous chorus—
oh, so much grander
than your grinding reality—
to join, but

there are no howls
to be heard
beneath tonight’s sky,
only good bone-dogs
(like myself)
gnawing silently
toward Tuesday,
Wednesday, the weekend,

and you realize
at this moment
(or one not long after)
it’s not the love of life
with its troubles and toils
that empowers your persistence
but, rather, of its possibilities
far beyond the certainties
of the unwinnable alternative.

© 2024; first appeared in print at Poem Alone, May 31, 2024

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