Paul pinned a paper number
to the black asphalt.
He changed it every day
to reflect auto fatalities.
Of animals that is.
Especially flying insects.
He pinned it like he was angry.
He was angry.
These were numbers
he never invited into his head
or discussed over a beer
Today’s number stretched across
Within three cars zooming over it
it was shreds, litter, ink
ready to bleed on the prickly pear
in the next desert rain.
Each night as dawn approached
a distant yelling broke Paul’s sleep.
A yelling inside his head
that did not sound like his deceased father.
Paul decided to use initiative
and print extra blank spaces left and right
so he might stretch the number out
like knifeless tape at the finish line.
copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney