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Poetry

I'm Full of Ashes

“I’m driving west”

By Edward Vidaurre

I sit
in my car
insert key in ignition

turn it and feel the blast
of hot air, then warm, then cool

little crystals fly around me
weightless ash planets swirl

the radio plays a commercial
it’s the same voice actor

he’s selling pizza, then he’s selling
vitamins… air shaking speakers

I light a cigarette, and watch the
creation of new planets form

on the dashboard, my slacks
I look in the mirror… on my stache’

I take the cancer fog deep into
the abyss of my menthol viced lungs

I turn the radio off, go from P to D
Look both ways, and head south

the possum still lays on its side
the blood baked by yesterday’s sun

the runoff signs from the candidates
sway without meaning to the breeze

I turn right, come to the light
The sun seems to be on me

I blow a cloud of jazz fog into the light
It lingers, the light turns green

I drive with my thoughts, coffee in the
tumbler swishes and mixes the cream

I light another cig, I haven’t prayed
I turn right again, I’m alone

the streets are whispering, I feel cold
I’m driving west, and I’m full of ashes


Edward Vidaurre’s poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Texas Observer, Avalon Literary Review, The Acentos Review, Poetrybay, Voices de la Luna, Dryland Literary Journal, as well as other journals and anthologies. A four-time Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and publisher of FlowerSong Books from Boyle Heights, California, he was the 2018-2019 City of McAllen Poet Laureate. Vidaurre is the author of six collections of poetry with his seventh forthcoming in March 2020. He now resides in McAllen with his wife and daughter.

Image: Photo by Sudhith Xavier on Unsplash