The Highway Technician

Kat Lewis

The Highway Technician

All I want is death to do my work

 

for me. Static cutting in and out over the radio,

shovel in hand, between the eucalyptus trees

that smell of west and husk in a morning of low light.

 

     Today, an accident:

 

tire marks, glass glitter, an elk dying

as slowly as the decrescendo of interstate traffic

into the early hours.

 

The hooves type Morse code on the pavement

to the car that is long gone, now.

 

This morning I ironed my uniform pants in the dark. Yes. It would be easy

to bring the shovel down.

To call a trooper, to look

at a gun

 

     I offer my hand

 

to the plane of its head, flat and heaving and hot over the lines in the road.

The elk barking away from my face,

 

until it doesn’t anymore.

By no doing of my own.

 

A car swerves around us, horn blaring,

maybe a middle finger behind the tinted window. The blind spots

of curves, nights, AM radio. Of this.

 

When I call my mother on Sundays

after waiting for the phone to ring on my end,

 

     I can never put it to words.

 

I do not want to be the one.

I pick up the hind ankles and tug

 

     hard, as if this is easy.

Kat Lewis is a poet and photographer from Northwestern Pennsylvania. She is currently a MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Meadow, The Superstition Review, Santa Clara Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. She lives and teaches in Moscow, Idaho.