On the road in July, the radio still
playing the same songs. I mash
the buttons for change when I glance
over at the empty passenger seat,
the old brown blotch of spilled
coffee I never cleaned off. Stray
moments of you keep stirring
next to me on the highway: both of us
antsy to piss last summer, or silently
angry, stomachs snarling hostile
while New Hampshire buzzes by.
The sun slumps into the road, one
spectacular white flicker maybe teeth,
maybe eyes, maybe just the sun’s
reflection glaring off a big rig,
as it hauls hundreds, literally hundreds
of ducklings in tiny cages, tucked
together, blankly taking the world
in as it all rushes by. New Hampshire
at eighty miles per hour, the new
blurry fuzz of reality, like suddenly
grasping the planet’s spin in real time.
And maybe one duckling catches
a brief glimpse of me looking
for you in the passenger seat
as the newly darkening universe
tumbles away, and the nature
of New Hampshire and everything
spins and spins and spins.


Bob Sykora is the author of the chapbook I Was Talking About Love–You Are Talking About Geography (Nostrovia! 2016) and serves as a poetry reader for Split Lip Mag. A recent graduate of the UMass Boston MFA program, he can be found at and @bob_sykora_.