The speedometer clocked 65 in a 35,
as I tore away from The Gun Shop.
My Roadmaster clips a monument sign.
It caroms and spins. It rolls –
a beast on its back, wheels flailing –
a cockroach stuck to the floor with a pin.
I shimmy out a window,
down an embankment,
over a culvert,
up the embankment’s other side.
I heave my coat over razor wire
and me over my coat.
I see my thumb, gloved
in mud and blood, wagging for a ride,
then two headlights,
You with warm leather seats
and six speakers of Summertime.
You with a bag of bath towels.
You with new teacups and tea-balls,
with sack of candles,
with Epsom salts,
with a Dead Duck Rubber Ducky.
We accelerate past warehouses
thick with diesel and propane,
past forklifts and overhead cranes and a wet saw
grinding through twelve-inch I-beams.
We crest over cloverleafs,
as weightless as rays spun from headlamps
spidering through every curve of Highway 10.
No moon. No stars.
And a smell I can’t quite name
seeping through candle wrappers –
a scent that would make me giddy as you
set candles into chipped tea cups
that chink against the tub
and the bathroom’s white and cherry tile –
a scent that would fill my flat long after you
snuff the candles out and uncoil
the blue bath towel draping your face.
You wrap the towel around my neck,
kiss each eyelid,
then fetch iodine from the cabinet
saying the sting won’t last a moment.
~ Ed Tato
Ed Tato, who lived a spell in Kansas, was born the day airship ZPG-2 took its final flight, terminating the Navy’s dirigible program. That same curious day, Felix The Cat and Friends, hosted by “Uncle Fred” Scott, broadcast one last time, and pitcher Mutt Wilson died. Ed’s been mourning since.
Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears on the art and literature website, Escape Into Life, in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.
One thought on “Only Fog and a Blue Towel by Ed Tato”
I love this! Rich images and phrasing that drew me in and made me curious for what was coming next.