I think they're cooking up magic,
In the blue/black hour before dawn.
Lights are on in the bullet-shaped trailer
As a car approaches, hissing over gravel.
Tail-lights are squeezing tumbleweeds
Into orange crush.
A broken spine of hills, lie behind
Restless rolls of dessert.
A landscape stalked by pin-pricked stars,
That tattoo the night’s sleeping skin.
Silver whispers of steel guitar are tweaking
Aerials, slowly evaporating.
My car is parked by Mr Cactus, who
Stands imperious in his cotton crown,
His incessant needles bristle at my company.
The delivery just came in.
Three shots pierce the sleep paralysis,
Of the sandy forehead ridges.
An aerial prolapse of popcorn stars
Slither on butter trails and gather
In my lap. It’s too hot to move and
Shake out this hidden greasy take-out
Nest. It’s too hot to take a rest in
This rattlesnake windscreen interior.
This poem previously appeared at Creative Writing at Leicester.
Colin Gardiner is currently studying an MA in creative writing at the University of Leicester. He is originally from Birmingham and now lives in Coventry.
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