Artist Michael C. McMillen, installation- Oakland Art Museum
If there was something I forgot to say, I’m sure this place will say it for me.
And maybe you’ll hear it when I pull away
onto the frontage, parallel Interstate 5
your silver Jetstream shrinking small in my rearview mirror,
windows aglow in soft blue light, maybe then.
Or channel surfing, your mind wide opened like the wires
of the ham antennae I split and hung for you
from the top of that skeleton of a rusty derrick. Or soon,
when you lie back, close your eyes to cricket song
amplified from empty steel barrels near Grandpa’s Chevy, louder
than nature intended, but comforting still. Or just before you fall asleep
in that whir of a highway lullaby, between backfired fills
and down-shifting gears as drivers time their exit
to Mirabel’s Truckstop.
Or last hope- maybe you’ll hear from the dream frontier-
that spitting image of our junkyard home
(sans mortgage) bathed in scarlet sky, with a perfect soundtrack
of shortwave radio arias scoring the filmed crescendo, just before
the starlet you-so-love, stuffed into her beaded dress, sashays out and stops.
Turns (just right for affect), and having all
your attentions (no interference now)
in a soft voice
low and gentle
I couldn’t find.