"This Way, This Fast 3" by David Joez Villaverde

for andy feathers

I imagine you reading this poem

somewhere west of Omaha

at one of those rest stops 

with a Starbucks 

& free wi-fi

which will be good enough

for you to check 

your Facebook notifications

but not good enough

to stream video 

or upload pictures 

from your journey


I imagine you as fatigued 

& weary 

second guessing your every move

watching your funds dwindle

half-sunburned & claustrophobic

despite your best efforts –

craving solitude

indoor plumbing

or the comfort of an unfamiliar bed


I imagine Sadie

reading this over your shoulder

excited to hear from an old friend

but unsure of what I meant in that last line

of that last stanza


& I imagine 

you wondering

how long I will ape your style

& how far I will go 

with what 

at least so far 

reads like a meta-poem

knowing that we both hate that word

but you less than I


& I imagine you

reconsidering your decision

& unsure of how to broach

the topic with Sadie 

or questioning if you even should

or if you should

just ride it out a little longer

& compartmentalize 

all the doubts you are harboring

knowing that 

for twenty-somethings

there are no mistakes


& I imagine that

as only I can imagine that

me being inured to life’s amenities 

made soft by comfort 

& security

both jealous

& reproaching

becoming well-versed

in the hypocrisies of life


& I know

that what I know

is not what you know

that what you see 

is not what I see


& I see you

hands gripping wheel

not quite at 10 and 2

looking over your shoulder

at Sadie sleeping

at shadows passing over her face

& smiling

off center

& turning back to the road

eyes forward, steady

holding fast

everything breathing with you