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JUDE AQUILINA


Lone Road Trip


Hypnotised by the flashing strobe of sun
through the trunks of trees, and by
the sandy whorls, slowly growing
beyond, in the ploughed earth of fields,

I drive my silver bubble. I have covered
1,000 kilometres between sun up and now.
My front right tyre sits plumb-bob
on the white line. I barely have to think.

My eyes drift to ruins, rocky outcrops
and abandoned tractors. If my mind
was a memory stick, it would overflow
with images of settlers gathering stones.

If I didn’t have to stop for food and fuel
I might keep driving until I too wasted
into dust. The outback is an anaesthetic,
soothing, surreal. A CD for company,

silos appear as Verdi reaches crescendo
and I feel like I’m in a strange opera
the pipe organ vibration of the engine,
the curtain of silver rain clouds over sunset.

In the soul-bathing light of early evening,
drops of rain lace the dust on my windscreen.
I pull over, give praise from a forgotten place
inside me, as the sun slips under the road ahead.