December 1, 2009

The Thunderbolt

by John Rocco

My friend Chris
has these great stories
about riding a motorcycle
all across the country
broke, hungry, stinking
drinking with girls everywhere
sleeping in libraries.

Racing across the flatlands
one afternoon
miles and miles of flatland
forever around him
the road an endless line
no mountains, no hills
no bars, no bills
not another bike or car around.

Racing across the flatlands
the Triumph humming under him
the sky a perfect dead blue above
he saw forever
and tested God:
“If you exist,
“kill me now.
Kill me with a

Nothing happened.

Years pass.
He’s telling me this
story in the bar
years and roads and women gone
proof positive that God
doesn’t exist until
he says to me:
“Maybe I was being
too literal. Maybe all these
years and roads and people
coming and going
maybe all these years
are the
shot at me that day
racing across the flatlands.”


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