out of gas on the way to the dance

four miles south of town
just beyond the great bridge
the ‘75 Plymouth bucks to a halt,
no gas in the tank
it is there that Naomi tells me
that she’s half Kiowa

…she’s from Norman, Oklahoma
and she doesn’t mind walking…
but then she says:

“…we have been walking
since time began,

…we walk when we have to
we walked across the land bridge
70 thousand years ago
we walked across the
fucking continent,
at a mile and a half a decade…

…we walked when we were
about to give birth,
we kicked snakes
from our babies beds,
we burned our dead,
we left our crippled
to die alone
on rock outcrops
in the stinking desert,
we walked for 18 thousand years…

no

…we walked for 27 thousand years
with only dogs to pull our packs”

Naomi and I get out of the car

…she cools off a little

and we walk

south,

down the Garden State Parkway

toward the Exxon station

at exit 105

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