On the Road

Through blue highways and heads hung in shame
we wisped away and whisked history down the drain
with whiskey to make us feel okay, maybe flush us numb
until our lips were pale and we couldn’t stop from falling down
and our tents were soaked through and through in the morning
fried steak and eggs were the meals, every day, all day
as we flew across the stars in our little blue suburban
as far away as we could, from teenager pop-punk suburbia
get me the hell out of this hellish little town

We relished the diners and the people who all shook our hands
the napkins we wrote on from lack of notebook paper
on the back of stationary, a leftover lawyer’s pad
we composed poems and songs and sang them with our guitars
we rode horses and pretended we were cowboys in cars
cadillacs and mustangs and pontiacs and ponies, rev up your engine
you’re only as good as your last grease-job, you tooth-puller, you
and don’t think we can’t smell you from a mile away
you’re all the same, escaping and evading
but never ending up anywhere new

We pioneered the land already-pioneered
we peed behind bushes and wiped with our compositions
smearing ink and feelings on our unspeakable vestigials
laying down and holding hands, holding hearts as well
our parents, we knew, didn’t know about this at all
and through blue highways and heads hung in shame
we yelled and hollered loud for the entire world to hear
golden with beer and fireworks, we could be sneered at
but the world would never know, so we couldn’t care anyway.

Swofford_photoRyan Swofford is a young writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Sunshine Liar, as well as the young adult novel The Ducks, both expected in 2014. He edits The Weekenders Magazine at theweekendersmag.com and has written for a variety of publications, both online and in print.