DRIVING THROUGH YELLOWSTONE AT MIDNIGHT
To the left, jets of sulfurous steam
rise in columns straight as lodgepoles
then at branch height dissipate to mist,
ghostly foliage, needles adrift.
To the right, lamplit bark of spruce and pine.
Beyond, the blackness of forest
teeming with nocturnal beasts
that might, at any moment, leap
into headlight glare and metallic disaster.
My ankle aches above the accelerator.
Breath tightens. Fear
penetrates my chest like a wire
quivering with the beat of every wild heart
it pierces in darkness,
binding human and animal together
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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