KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Ekphrastic Nonfiction: 275 words
Photograph: iPhone

Transit East

by Roy Beckemeyer

Transit East: photograph of semi at sunrise by Roy Beckemeyer
Photograph © copyrighted by Roy Beckemeyer. All rights reserved.

The air conditioner blows cold filtered air into the only place since we got here where we can’t smell the feedlot, and you say “Oh! Look at the sky!” and I see a perspective-less ocean of black, bounded half way up the window by one of those peach and plum and lemon watercolor-wash kinds of morning skies, all layered and streaked as if the colors were floating there above the ground and they probably are, temperature in the high eighties already at half past five in the morning.

The sudden black silhouette of a semi comes sliding along, way out there, moving so steadily we almost don’t notice; it glides east, going right at the old sun that’s hiding just below the horizon, as if it wants to run headlong into that circle of orange whenever it might dare to peek up, to POP it, like a tire exploding in the heat, to send the sky into paroxysms of brightness, to shatter all this horizontal, easy-on-the-eyes morning, turn it into a blazing Bach chorale, a laser light show, a five-hundred-dollar-a-seat heat extravaganza, and By God, we want to get out there and see it, feel it, to be in it, so I grab up the suitcase, you seize your pillow, and we haul ass right on out of Oakley, Kansas, onto Interstate 70, transiting east, tires singing, into the glorious absolution of this one specific, singularly-molten morning sky of all our days.


—Photograph was taken by the author with an iPhone through a motel room window in Oakley, Kansas, on the morning of 24 July 2015. First published as the cover photo of I-70 Review (Summer/Fall 2016) and appears here with author’s permission.


Roy Beckemeyer’s
Issue 11, Spring 2019

latest poetry collection is Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel, comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels (Spartan Press, 2018). His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). Beckemeyer lives in Wichita, Kansas and is a retired engineer and scientific journal editor. His work has been nominated for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fiction awards.

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