On the tollway just south of Kenosha spring sets the boarded-up porn store ablaze, topaz dousing the peeling paint, the harp-notes of ice on the gutters. On the embankment home geese gather in the mud-slush. Tractors lift their beams to the rising temple of a new overpass.
I outlasted winter, four months rumpled under snow. On Christmas we woke to a broken furnace, the baby's fingers carrot-stick cold. One night I skidded off the patio steps. Most mornings I stared out the window, wondering how far I'd driven my life in the ground, asking the darkness how much longer.
I kill the radio. Just the hum of the motor, the pitted road, my slow, steady breath like the syllables Yah, weh. I didn't work at this joy. It just appeared in the splash and shine of I-94, as suddenly as these Frisbees and sand buckets in the roadside yards laid bare by the shrinking snow.