Truck, Medusa’s Hair Aflame, Young Boy Watches

by Brian Michael Barbeito


But fire against the air. An interruption in the blue sky otherwise. Painted without a spread blemish or problem. Now there is a problem. I am roused from sleep. Sister says,

Look. Look. Jacob wake up.


A truck is on fire.

What is?

A truck. On its side. Holy shit.

And I see reality in a slow motion movie. There are myriad of flames bouncing dancing fighting but somehow relying on one another.

Medusa's red hair now.

How come it is like this? I think.

The truck is an eighteen wheeler and we are south of Georgia. A1A something like that but maybe not so.  It's beside an underpass. It has fallen over the bridge, to an earth Poseidon's arms, or else over from our road.

There are no people here, sister says, it has just happened. Holy.

Growing fire still air. Small summits. Cat's eyes. Wire lines. An unsinkable fiberglass boat being towed. A blue clip board with papers. Maps with lines like veins. The frames of the matrons glasses. Cups with solid change or paper clips and a safety pin. A safety pin can wait silently in the world forever. A quietly click-clacking brain. Gauges and numbers. All black and white save for flame and sky.


And sky.


But not a love marriage.

And not an arranged marriage.

Something else. And who is the bridegroom I do not know.

Rising. It's higher. I am sitting up. Back of brown Buick with cushion seats. My world. Blue knapsack. Tanned already. Heading south. A sleeping prince. Or court jester small and agile mistaken.

Something. Someone different.

Fire climbs. Crackling vexatious thunder. Caution. Recoil.

Pull off, someone says.

Pull off.

A Smokey. Sunglasses. Off this road now sir.

Over the grass?

Over the grass. Now sir. And off.

And we go. And I look to the side.

People now. Confusion. Someone standing on a car. There are others. The truck is wholly aflame as only some rear axles can be discerned. Go. Out of this place. Hades heat and discord on a sun laden interstate. We are going. Here we go.

I watch Medusa's red hair take up more overhead, block the bridge, and reach for dragons and wizards in cumulus clouds. No water. Some kind of parched death seems there at the flame.

We go.

Holy shit, whispers sister to herself,

Holy shit.