Interstate Highway System - Believer Magazine
×
header-image

Interstate Highway System

by Adam O. Davis
Illustration by Jesse Zhang

Interstate Highway System

Adam O. Davis
5 Snaps
In the beginning, I was 
incorporate, plain as skull, 


in cahoots though inchoate: 
a suit suited to combust—


my body a blunderbuss 
brandished in traffic bright 


as dogbite. I drifted like sand 
under the wind’s hand, saw 


supercells & speed traps, 
saw God in the face of a forest 


fire. The sky was froth, 
the land foment: ichor & ozone, 


bee swarm & wildflower—
every living thing shivering 


under the long-range bellow 
of the transnational semitruck. 


Thrush melodies tumbled forth 
from trees still full of the didactic 


temper of birds, but I could only 
froth & foment—my tongue 


diabetic with word, deeded 
as property in the gun safe 


of my mouth. Thereafter, 
I heeded hints & omens, held 


hearsay dear as a family Bible 
so listened smartly when gossip 


hopscotched households 
like housefire. In later years 


I leaned prophetic, suffered 
visions—saw myself sullen 


on a windswept prairie, saw 
myself salved in a station flush 


with tropical disease, snakes 
shaking in my fists like bad mail. 


Still, when I slept I slept sound 
under the promise of diesel.


When I dreamt I dreamt darkly 
under the auspices of convenience. 


When I woke I ate in the assurance 
of eating all I could. And when


finally I corrected my iconography
I wept to find my eyes ever-blue, 


the sun fled—clouds militant, 
the moon an ambulance of rock. 


Under its urgency I succumbed 
to the hobby of my body, held 


my health like a cigarette from 
the world I watched through 


drawn curtains, listening all night 
to the opera of wolves behind 


the motels of America. Wolves 
I ran with, wolves I ran from. 


I lived on stick. I lived on stone. 
I hunted myself any way I could.

More Reads
Poetry

Annunciation in a Gas Station Bathroom

Traci Brimhall
Poetry

I Am Become a Man

Jack Underwood
Poetry

Interstate Highway System

Adam O. Davis
more