GROWING UP IN THE BACK OF A CAR

  1. driving through the mountains we stopped with the truckers, I left my crayons in the back seat and they melted forming a rainbow collage on the already-sticky vinyl protective cover
  2. it was 3 in the morning and I opened my eyes to see white flakes swirling around the car and drifting off into the darkness to our right and settling on the icy ribbon a hundred two hundred inches feet years below us
  3. stopping for directions in the blood-black predawn we got back in the car and glided forward for an instant before tipping vertical our nose in the drift-ditch our tail sticking straight up our dog thrown into the net separating the boot from the backseat my collection of books narrowly missing dad's head on their journey to the windshield
  4. our bellies full of wontons and sweet & sour chicken we cheerfully cracked open the fortune cookies and compared words and numbers. mine said "beware a long drop".
  5. closing my eyes with ears popping in the Rocky Mountains and waking up sun in my eyes midway through the sierra nevada
  6. a hundred saran-wrapped sandwiches, a thousand scenic points, a hundred thousand games of eye spy, our tire tracks worn into the tarmac of the I-70
  7. we got bigger and our knees got stiff and sore, from sea to shining sea the american west formed this mind, shale to slate to someday schist