Rust Rorschach, Timothy Embertson
if i put my foot to the floor or take the turn just right
the horizon will swallow this ought-to-be-ghost town.
watch: i slip out through the teeth of that maw
and chase the stars in the endless wide out-there,
dodging leering eyes at desert rest stops
and waking stiff-necked in the backseat.
watch: i escape the stagnation and desiccation
of the living tomb of post-industrial small-town USA.
give me oil-stained forearms and the spark plug
of pride when the engine—against all odds—
hacks and sputters and finally drags its way
back to roaring, turning-over life.
watch: it will die again 30 miles down the road,
30 miles further than my father ever dared to step.
watch: he prayed at the altar of machinery
until the factory god gasped its dying breath.
now, i stand in the light of uncountable divinities
and by them, chart my westward course.
i was always more than the sacrificial
lamb of the american dream.
About the Author
Paxton Potter · Le Moyne College
Paxton Potter (she/they) is a poet, playwright, and budding archivist. A recent graduate of Le Moyne College and current student at North Carolina Central University, she draws her inspiration from Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and her love of all both the spooky and the spiritual. “U.S. Route 95” originally appeared in the Le Moyne College Salamander, which Paxton was an editor on.
About the Artist
Timothy Embertson · Hope College
Timothy Embertson grew up in Lake City Michigan, and he is a dual major in Art and Psychology with a minor in Theatre at Hope College. “Rust Rorschach” first appeared in Opus. This piece was first featured in plain china in 2022.