Set the sat-nav for home but drive in the opposite direction without any sense of where or why you are going or where this will end or who you really are or might become each junction passed is a single recalculation of opportunities missed of u-turns of underpasses of roundabouts of turning back of not turning back of driving on into the lengthening darkness as the sat-nav keeps recalculating as the time to destination extends further into the distance so you turn off the sound and listen to the song of wheels on asphalt as each homeward turn lights up in disconsolate luminescence before being discarded as an instruction becomes a suggestion becomes another waypoint lost and all the calculations that follow of time of space of the distances between accelerating as you surge along the blacktop river changing gear slipping years refuelling tears and so you drive through checkpoints imagined such zones of incarceration this plague of dissonance and still the road stretches out clear and true and clean as all that is good seems lost for ever in shuttered windows and boarded up dreams and so you drive and all is good and so you drive and speed is good and so you drive and freedom is good and who bothers with truth when three word slogans are all we need and so you drive keep eyes to the road the          arrowing future your narrowing future the weather changing to a steamed windscreen view of headlight rain and all the roads you will not take and all the recalculations made in vain as motorway gantries dissolve in spray each gantry passed and you’re further away with the kiss kiss metronome of wiper blades of tyres kiss kiss kissing the rumble strip and the soft kiss kiss kiss of sleep on your face.


Richard Williams lives in Portsmouth, and has had magazines appearing in a range of publications including Acumen, Envoi, Frogmore Papers, One Hand Clapping and Orbis. His first collection, Landings, was published by Dempsey & Windle in 2018.