Ultima Thule

Hunger that just won’t be filled,

not by the light

of a gas station sign.

Deep, buzzing hum

of a million watts of power

shaking back the night

and chilling off

cheap beer and sour milk.

 

There is a life

that never satisfies.

Never slakes the thirst,

or drains the bag.

One that almost screams

at the thought of waiting

one more night

through this interminable vacuum.

The snake

that eats its own tail.

 

The motor’s running.

The tank is full.

Well, maybe full enough

to make a decent run for it.

The street lights end

a couple hundred yards

off into the uninterrupted black

of the August night.

That way is beyond.

That way is the way out.

 

I shift in my seat,

terribly uncomfortable

with the idea of being

way out there

all alone.

Past any explored territory.

long past Ultima Thule

and on and on

into the unfathomable abyss.

 

The old sign flickers,

snaps and flutters,

skinned with a living coat

of moths and flies.

Why are they so attracted to the light?

None of them break free

and make for the highway.

They stay in the light,

safe,

for a little while at least.

 

A big transport truck

rumbles past,

and for a moment,

the signs of life are startling.

It disappears into the night

and taking with it

the mystery

of that dark road.

 

Night lasts too long

in the Land of the Damned.

Morning comes

and there is no more

path to get away,

but it’s coming.

The mystery is waiting.

 

 

HG – 2019

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