Next Exit by Robert Lowes

Next Exit

Should I regret my hours on the interstate,
the manic weaving of high-speed metal,
to shop for walking shoes, disrobe for doctors?
Pigeons swirl above the cloverleaf.
A dog carcass stains the asphalt shoulder.
Bumper stickers proclaim schools of thought.

I’m thinking thoughts, slower than the traffic,
shaped like wheels, nickels, puddle-struck ripples,
orbits, the wedding bands of Saturn. Each thought
hides a nucleus, a sweet spot, a seed.
A straight shot to the center pleases me
more than endlessly surfing circumferences.

My white-line fever breaks at thirteen miles.
If I saw flashing lights, I can’t recall.


Robert Lowes is a writer in St. Louis, Mo, whose first collection of poetry, An Honest Hunger, was published in 2020. His work has appeared in journals such as The New Republic, Southern Poetry Review, December, The Christian Century, the American Journal of Poetry, and Tampa Review. Samples of his poetry and journalism are available at Lowes also plays rhythm guitar with whomever has patience with a journeyman musician. He loves the opening chords of David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream.

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