The highway lies just there, unseen, unheard,
and remote, though only bottle-rocket
distance from my desk, one island amid
a well-carpeted archipelago.
Here, muzak cannot replace the music
of cars in motion: engines harmonize
and tires play their riffs upon the road below.
Each one moves on constrained on that narrow
ribbon, where such potential
becomes energy fully kinetic
as, when realized, journeys’ ends approach:
weekend escapes, lovers that think only
of their reaching arms, fathers, mothers
completing a day-end commute to hearth
and home, and families on holiday
already looking forward to their home.
Their destinations are invisible
from this office, where I pass from cube
to cube, from coffee room to copy room—
endless circles through walls that shift monthly
and no minotaur lurks to lend the maze
meaning. Even the last end is denied.
And I . . .
I live in this fluorescent flicker
with an endless blank hum within the ears.
In wan light, I sift through the proposals
weighing merits, questioning potential
gains, just like yesterday, just like tomorrow,
and by my silence they are declined
one by one for want of principle yields.
I think of movement in straight lines
there, where sun bounces from many windshields
imparting a glare to the humid air
that goes unnoticed behind the lenses
tinted and focused merely on the road
ahead. Everyone needs a hope, only
if one so small and near as
an expected destination yields,
but I sit still, and doubt usurps belief.