A wall of heat dances on the horizon.
It is late August in the prairieland
and everything is coming undone.
Along the shoulders of the road, rockets
of milkweed flare into cottony plumes.
Pollen as massive as north woods mosquitos
drifts from the fields across the two lanes.
The wind chops the long wavering note
of the cattail orchestra. More static plays
steadily in the gravel beneath my shoes.
The taste of asphalt melting in my throat,
I’m counting every light-peppered mile
that remains between us. But the stick-straight
road bestows only the notion of ending.

DANE HAMANN works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also currently serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly. His recently published work appears in Two PeachBlack Fox Literary MagazineHalf MysticWildness, and elsewhere. His chapbook is forthcoming from Sutra Press.