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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 2, June 2016

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Jeff Streeby
Bangkok, Thailand


Truck Stop

Nara Visa, Dahlhart, then the Oklahoma line.

And he says again, “Yo. The road.” That was on the last island of pumps. He says, “Yo. You just come up 54? What that road be like?” A friendly young man with a gold tooth, a Lakers t-shirt, pants riding low on his hips.

For me there had been a Norther— the vault of heaven dark for hours, and thunder and hard wind-driven rain. Mile after mile, the thump-clunk of the wipers. Floodwaters suddenly deep and dangerous in the arroyos. For long stretches the tarred, scarred blacktop was worn pale and slick, the right shoulder tough to pick out under all the mud and run-off. Slow going the whole long way from Carrizozo to Texhoma. Meeting no one, passing no one, being passed by no one, and after a while here I am, breathing this air at this hour under this summer sun high in this blue sky. The road received me and was sufficient. That’s all.

How to tell him I really can’t say. How to tell him from now on the road running that way is only his—its towns and its vistas, its network of crossings—and it will be just as he finds it.

Cold front—

cotton fields flattened by hail
two crippled steers tangled in wire

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