Lucia Damacela
Road Lines

The road an open quest comes to a halt. A lifted bridge. Gigantic armor arms rising above the river. Seamless for just a moment. And then again, the road is a meandering bumpy open quest.

The truck in front carries a dangerous load. Signs all over it. We are flanked by ash trees. In New England, a disease has weakened them. We had to cut some from our lot. Too close to home. Too infirm. The trees carry a dangerous load.

An accident. The car speed accommodates the curiosity. A miscalculation. A survivor. An ambulance. A sigh of relief. The heart pumps hard. Contrite driving for ten miles. The sun descends. The distance, a field lined by orchards. A cold drink in the cup holder. No spills.

An abandoned children’s bike on the side of the road. Scratched bright red paint. Its back wheel maimed. A twisted metal question mark. De-formed. A ghostly presence.

Cats of all colors and sizes emerge from dark alleys. They glide along the high fences around the train station. Parietal art. A maintenance worker leaves a hot dog and a bowl of water. Offering to lesser gods fallen from the engraved walls into the unpaved ground.

Blurry kids walking. Their neon backpacks wake up the road. Foreground figures in the window canvas. It is so early that the mist is early.

Things you learn on the road. To hold. That motorcyclists don’t go on road trips alone. That gas never lasts long enough. That coins still have some use. That the exits.

The scissors of the wind trim the trees’ locks, trying to get rid of the uneven coloring.

Autumn’s wind has left the trees naked and spent. Their orgy of colors now consummated. A silver-haired couple rakes leaves in their yard. They form small piles. Leave a trail of pliable formations.

The street curls uphill. Light fluoresces windshields. Amber trembling trees. Synchrony and a ridge. Dog barks and piano lessons. Rain a remote whiff. Only that.

Clouds cast their spell. Summon darkness. The sun retreats behind the scene. Can’t be brought back to the foreground with the click of a mouse. Darkness is real.

Darkness engulfs trees and then they are ghosts. The river a respite. A scar on the field.

A cemetery by the road. White stone quiet. Time spares the bold details. Blurs the fine ones. Attenuated letters, all serif.

A moon under hazy siege. A steep uphill road. A mist. The bus brakes, the motorcycle lunges forward, the truck decelerates and accelerates around the bend. Highway fauna.

Nighttime drive on a country road. The sudden deer captured by the beams. Static stares. Halting and a prayer. The salty cleft trembles and glows under the dim interior light.

Dirt on wheels. Puddles on the road. We run over a drowning moon. Necks pay the price. A discount. A disc. A fluidity of blue rays. Some music from the dashboard.

A field of sunflowers. Repetition in yellow. Opening exclamation points ¡ ¡ ¡ like those used in Spanish. Effervescent smiling yolks. Starched gleams. Semi-bonsai lamp posts. And then flood lights, sunflowers of the night.

Birds, Atlas of the skies. They raise the open roof. Vertical commuters. A blackbird stands on a tree and flies away. A blackbird is a rhythmic ribbon. A Chinese ink splash on moving clouds.

Descending from the hilly greenery to the openness, and the sea reverberates. Rabid foam. Boats receded. Heavy the sand. Wind and sea match.

Time and coordinates saved. The green and the blue Pacific coexistence. The seagull left the scene. A plastic bag flails in the wind. Body double from a distance. Stunt bird.

Injected into sand and dune vegetation. Time and decay. A rusty puzzle out of a once wholesome shape. A skeleton, a carcass. The wood, the flesh of its rounded forms. Once a satisfying answer to the lust for seas and their beyond.

Like turtles, we take our home with us. Our car our shell. Before, we used to live in a high rise, Horizons, no kidding. Home for many years, we pass by on our way to the open roads.

At the distance, the light. Trenches by the sides. Beyond that, the trees. A fortress of unreachable green. Flanked by a moat that keeps us on course. The road is a quest. Speed and stillness. A world that moves with us.

The smooth edges of the horizon. A quiz, a puzzle, a changing pattern in the ocean quest. On the sand, a crustacean has molted and discarded its shell. It smells like the certainty of the almost-dead.