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Long Beach, CA


Poetry Blog


Brandon Cook

She hung the saddest sign on the highway:
“Open for business, even on Christmas”

Inside the shoebox diner
She served him coffee,
And a fresh slice of pie— 
Her greatness
The one true excellence of her life
That, and the beauty of her eyes

When he reached out and patted her thigh
She only smiled
“Harmless,” she sighed,
Her chest rising
Against the faded pink creases
Fraying beneath her nametag

An hour later, as the bright Buick bulbs
Lit the gravel like a child’s flashlight,
And then the rock wall, and them the empty blackness of asphalt
There were whispers all along the highway
That burned out, like candles, into silence
As the evening came and went
As the night swept in, thick as fever,
The desert canyons moist with rarest dew
The indigo of fading blue,
With its endless beauty and false strength,
Passing like the angel of death
Into the west