at night it comes
not to sofa-peripheral
or 3am deep
but when alone
behind the wheel –
coming home/going away

peeling dark miles
windows down, stereo up,
singing in the style
of the best of kings
defying the diss – a- proval of gods
that’s when it surfaces –

a creature from the verge
of wood and tar
cataracted
from the tree-line,
milky blurring
down slope to flat,
moth like through the black
form uncertain –
just out beyond the full beam

at white-line distance,
flying past or
mirror check
stamped brake
heaved wheel
lurch correct
hazards on
stop,
all is scrawn and pale, line and flap,
stumpies mocking legs,
sticks faking arms
and wing-tips/hands soft paddling air
fluttering like fork in batter,

tonight I nearly choked,
rolling the car ‘cross rumble strip,
over shoulder, gasping and
peering through screen –
but as ever, no definites
of any sort
to hang a sex on,

no breast, shin, eyes, chin
to play tricks,
bring back a name
or even, forgive me,
to bend, prod, guess
or scoop from road,
to rescue or bin

so sure, but,
there is nothing
no-one,
everything is
gone

© Gary Studley