how many times had he driven over the mountains, listening to mountain music—I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry—and naming names. his train of thought was so predictable that by now he associated certain peaks with certain episodes of betrayal.
only a swallow—
later you’ll ask
what’s that bird?
there was a rest stop that was a convenient place to exercise his legs and move away from his thoughts; halfway up or down a mountain; a scenic overlook but not so scenic it would make you weep. he pulled the truck in and got out, scrambling up the mountain path as if it were the only way out of a sticky situation.
just this once we all fall up instead of down
…she slid like an avalanche down the rocky slope. she saw that she was almost as tall as the truck and probably almost as long, if she were to lie down in it, which she thought she would do, just to do something dangerous and get away from this place. the big doors wrenched open easily and she made room for herself among the big boxes. if she were asked to describe the smell, she would have said: clean but dead.
turn the record over and start snowing
…after smoking three cigarettes and imagining three different ways a certain conversation could have gone instead of the way it actually did go, he climbed back down and turned on a comforting radio show with a host who was even angrier than he was.
in the end times the static will be even louder