Driving the Eastern Seaboard through the night; Winter 2013 by Christopher Grillo

I.

By dusk we were just somewhere
outside of Philly. Frankie swallowed
the first of the uppers and I lost

count of junction signs trying to pinpoint
colors in twilight’s arbitrary scheme.
I thought the Day’s bristles surely bore the warmth

and the Night dipped his brush
in cools like rain over slate.
But what if they lent to one another,

and conscious the Sun had grown weary
projecting light, darkness gave her his best
June kissed nudes and amber grains,

and it was Day’s hand that dulled
under labors at dusk, who lined the sky
eggplant, violet, sonata navy.

II

By Beaufort it was past midnight
and there was no burning neon or sky
scraper needles, lit like upturned cigarettes,

that we could mistake for stars.
The moon moved with us,
dodging our glances behind thunder heads,

the way our stares spun away on necks
when school girls began to feel the heat.

I thought of Frankie’s house when we were kids
and the tennis ball tips of Miss O’brien’s walker,
like little stars themselves,

catching tree roots along the lattice fence
as she spied through the yards;

and the time she told our mother’s when we lit
bottle rockets just to see who’d hold the longest,
and ran a blow up pool aground in the stream behind her house.

Would the Moon rat us out now,
the pills, the shit talk, the gas we stole in Savannah,

and would we answer to Day, her wrath, or God?
Could penance sting the way Daddy’s belt did?
There is no God, Frankie said, and we were quiet

as color climbed reluctantly back up over the dash board.
and the grey that preceded it, I knew, was ours.


Christopher Eugene Grillo is an educational professional and second year MFA candidate at Southern Connecticut State University. He has previously been published in Noctua, The Elm City Review, Up the River and Referential. Christopher moonlights as a high school football coach at his alma mater North Haven High School.