Road Markings

Picture by Stephen J O'Shea

Picture by Stephen J O'Shea

He tightropes across
the desert highway
painting from a palette
of licorice and lemon.

The straight line is a long slog
for the perfectionist.

Only a surgeon performs the same
day in, day out –
down the middle
in equal parts.

The way the heat winks off the road
in waves of steam
distorts the distance.

Lauren Pope is in her 2nd year of a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals and online publications. In 2014, she was the recipient of an Orkney Writers’ Bursary, and this year, was awarded the Grierson Verse Prize.