You stand on the highway next to me, Lee.
Thumb aloft, a perpetual gesture
to the vehicles that refused us,
that honked and careened, mooned, or slowed
invitingly as we’d haul up our holdalls,
only to speed away.
Your thumb that day in the outback
became your middle finger,
your pleading smile a skull’s.
It was there, I suspect – or thereabouts –
you remapped your stratagem,
your flight from a following junction
on the road that never rose.
For that night,
with our faces hidden in dreamtime black
we smoked our last and giggled and stared
till suddenly you jolted,
sat up, called, unable to tell
what expanse you were in;
if your eyes lay open or closed.
Kieran Setright has previously had work accepted for publication in Neon, Brittle Star, Prole, Sofia and Deracine. He lives in the London area and has worked in mental health for the past decade. He is currently working on his first collection