national anthology of the best
undergraduate writing 2010

A Solar Storm in the Cockpit


Space Cadet, Lani DePonte

regurgitates neon crosses

twice and hillside.

 

The man wraps his beard around his mouth

calls out chassis models at every rest stop

 

670 bolo with a moose guard.

 

Everyone’s breath smelled of gunpowder

skin was steel

eyes behind smoke in eyes.

 

The seat is never comfortable

the way I had imagined it

like animal suede.

 

Montana, a bison in the ear

 

I turn my head and elevation

the lake spills over

 

and it’s still not comfortable

something cedar in my heart.

 

These voices all sound like friends

 

I count plates of earth where the lines dash then score

1, 2

 

Uncomfortable about 3

 

binary, evenness.

 

The man in the beard wears overalls.

He carries me in his pouch

and sets me to the land.

 

I say Elk

and the mountain spills over.