Expwy Sama-Sama

︎︎︎ Gabriel Friend with S.B.

︎ Jan 7, 2023

The river dried up but the tunnel crossing it remained, a long fossil in the riverbed painted black with dead algae. And the same traffic. Drive in. Yellow heaven and yellow earth merge. The old lights buffet the perfect pattern to hypnotize you, and you leave the other end with a new conviction to kill a local politician this weekend. But you’re lucky—two cars behind, a guy going a slightly different speed just got implanted with a new and intensely felt oedipal complex. Blue raspberry drink sloshing, losing carbonation. Pick at the edge of your parking pass sticker with your index finger. Listen to talk radio. Radio says The kingdom is inside you and outside you. Traffic is slowing down again. Slow down, stop. A man’s face becomes perfectly framed in your side-mirror. Blank stare. His eyes are like wet dishes, just cleaned. Restaurant dishes, plain white, grayed with use. Think about how he might have no soul at all. Radio says I have cast fire upon the world and I watch over it until it blazes up.

Collaborative poem written by Gabriel Friend with S.B.

Also by Gabriel Friend: Newsroom, Viewing, The Sky