Chad Prevost

Graphic: "If Thoughts Were Rockets," Peter Schwartz

When it's afternoon and I can't shake the limbs of the moon from my eyes, the Southern Freight train rolls down the tracks in my head, splitting the Chickamauga Dam to one side, the Tennessee River to the other. If not the limbs and the moon and the Southern Freight, twilight will have settled in with its stadium lights snapped on, an over-wattage game processing into a mindless dawn of extra innings. That's where I'll be this evening when you see me buying this morning's paper at the corner stand on Grove and 7th, shooting the gap, rounding the bases, tipping my cap to the fans who dig the long ball. If not quite scoring, I'll be on deck, timing my swing with a double-barreled Louisville Slugger. There is the life that lives to one side of the night and one that lives to the other. My neighbor's bumper sticker says Just visiting this planet. If not this planet then the next orbit, maybe a constellation of galactic tropo- sphere's the exact right distance from some red sun in a part of the universe as yet undeveloped. If not some new physical realm of the ever-expanding universe, then its reverse negative, a peering into the multi-linear platitudes of the Hubble telescope's billion dollar past, that mythological time construct where everything flings itself as reckless as dreamless vagrants wandering the empty streets like shadows in search of some distant world they used to watch in Technicolor. If not mind-boggling speeds and time warps, just a snapshot or two down the road, just Bugs Bunny pulling the curtain on my tombstone, That's all folks, and a bunch of credits rolling anonymous names.

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