250 Miles Wide

What’s Missouri but
A big endless white
Cast of clouds above my head?

From the floor
Of the backseat,
In the crevice by the sliding door,
I am borne into that
Unknown space
By our van that like
The sacrificial lamb of America
Has given itself over to our quest;

Hear the harmonics
Sullen pang, fundamental,
On the lips of the young babes,

Ball the jack
To the shining grasslands
Of old—without a song,
Just a thought—a collective
Yearning to get at that thing,
That very thing that has escaped us,
Unspeakably, on the horizon.

Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead; carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines, both nationally and internationally, but he’d rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge, or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row.

Photography by Laura Kiselevach.