Oh! Brave Hitchhiker By Matt Andersen

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker
Your lips tremble from the rain and the snot
in the back of Portland pick up trucks.
Coat hanger bridges sway naked in the sky
and offer you brief rhythmic relief
as you’re sped through the city at a cool 65.

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker
You want to watch the sunrise bounce off of Navajo canyons,
but it’s veiled by the black tinted windows of electric sedans.
Brown paper grease stains sweat into fresh leather seats
and you’ve outworn your welcome.

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker
You surf over amber waves as though you were in Southern California,
but abandoned power lines straddle dirty fog
and the 3 dollar cigarettes make the buzzing worse
and if you hear one more Bruce Springsteen song
you swear to God you’ll jump.

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker
You celebrate the Delta blue sky as it slides into dusk
until all that’s left is one working headlight.
Now, mummified trees crawl out of swamps
and remind you that there’s still old magic to be afraid of.

Oh! Brave Hitchhiker
You count shooting stars and toll booths
and watch Tetris towers stack up around you.
The night fills with the soundtrack
of syncopated car alarms
and talk radio
and it makes you want to sleep.

By Matt Andersen


Matt Andersen is a writer of stories, poems, and music whose work explores issues related to mental health, homelessness, and marginalization. Notably, he is an advocate for those struggling with substance abuse and tries to provide a voice for those who wouldn’t be heard otherwise. He currently lives in the Greater Salt Lake area with his wife Jill.

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