Manifest Destiny

                                  Old Route 66

Long walk past sun-cracked faults
of country, traprock trace
on highway given way
to rip-rapped, driven tor—

a roadbed tripped to bedrock, vaults
of rusted flasks: rest place
scorched to flake, annulled, pay-
dirt paved over, laved & scored

by sand-grains poured down
wind. Come see America end
to end: the heartland towns
graveled, bellied, burnt.

By badlands past renown
this buffaloed, hell-bent
stained off-road trail of stones
tears off to no return.
Summer, Central Park

Far afternoon, we circle near small voices
and laughter in our rented paddleboat

toward dense sedge. Now rowing under hair
of willows, shadows feed their hands to swans.

A footbridge over us: the past is blurring,
then outlines burning on the other side;

the sun has made a wish with every coin.
Light slips beneath the city’s closing door

before plum wine is poured across the pond.
Recursive lamps sea-green in windowglass

confide desires of multiplying ghosts.
So days by which the calendar are filled

will fade—and aimless talk evaporate—
like flowers pressed into a book on fire.
~ ~ ~
will-cordeiroWill Cordeiro lives in Flagstaff, where he is a faculty member in the Honors Program at Northern Arizona University. His most recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Birdfeast, DIAGRAM, Green Linden, New Madrid, Painted Bride Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere.