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Persona

John Barton

this voice
how it breaks

into lines, regulated
by breaths my body

sets
irregular

expansive—
filling and filled

by unstable margins
of pressure, the sweet

sweat-slick mirages
of heat forever at arm's

length as the pickup I am
driving evaporates into

the dusk-backlit haphazard
first hills, climbing

toward harvest-glowing aspens
up channels of clear

cut paving the way, lofty
words condensing

into perpetually
broken
white lines
hiving off futures

that, with the brights on
buzz distractedly

past while what we approach
approaches without

sign through the darkness
however light my foot

to the gas, through
certain pesonal

landscapes the brakes
sly, eurhythmic, syllabic.

No question of
who is

speaking, my friend
my stranger, the dis

location between what I
say and what you

hear, androgynous
sited in some

invisible wilderness best
left on its own
to explore us, who remain
so much more than
the sum of the usual
equations thrown

open to the night.
Something speaks unscripted

from behind this scrub
of shadow and exhaust, fellow

ventriloquist, illusive
member of the choir, you

hitched this
ride with me, the physiology

of highway inflected
and now gearing

down through your body as it
tunnels through mine, its western

terminus
the provisional end ofv
all lines, open
to interpretation—

laconic
kBrdiljeren—



John Barton's works copyright © to the author.


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