Milwaukee, WI

In the heat of summer like an iron on our necks we loaded up the cars with guitars and snacks and drove West for the first time in my life. Drove nearly 1,000 miles without stopping, watched the green Pennsylvania hills smooth out like a furrowed brow into the plains of middle America, hot clear yellow air as far as the eye can see like a throbbing headache over the fields. The weather forecast said Unhealthy Air Quality and my lungs ached and eyes itched. We wore masks into a rest stop, only once in thirteen hours of driving. It is the summer of the plague in America. If we drove fast enough we knew it wouldn’t catch us, not yet, for one more day.

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