Norman Walter
I hotboxed my car like a 
goddamn madman from here
clear to Denver

I’ve branched out into the world
like a wayward wisteria or a rose 
and its thorns blooming towards 
the sun
blooming to wilt

those longer roads of Kansas
had somehow baptized me 
and so I charged my old and worn 
sins to the dust and let the rain settle it

but these strange roads race forward
celestial causeways ripping across
this resolute continent
plateaued rock bodies and heavenly monoliths
jutting upward and upward and onward towards
the finite echoing of light bursting at their

I see so much of the beauty and 
color and the light

and I am not sad I am not afraid
my negro energy has transfigured 
and my soul feels of six silk strips
of ribbon all different colors
and beauty across their faculties

sound has feeling here, night is 
fleeting and emotions are raw 
and technicolored which is why I 
wept tears made of ribbon when 
I heard my mother’s voice 

but goddamn it madman, I hotboxed my car from 
here all the way to Denver and when I did
I saw home––a new home

a dream spun from the ashes of old sin
and long decayed hope
a dream that has stamped out the dark,
the dirt, the roaches, the forgotten
a dream yearning to breathe life back into
its very existence

I goddamn heard the excited babble of life
I could feel the restless rumble of my engine stirring
beneath me as I too crawled the mountain barefoot
and into the peeling sun beyond a westward town
Norman G. Walter is a poet and musician living in Colorado and graduating with his MFA in creative writing from Eastern Kentucky University in the summer of 2020.