by Allissa Hertz
The asphalt is black as the night sky with miniscule peddles crowding the surface. The Standard Construction Company crushes the rocks they find locally to build the roads. In the southwest the roads are speckled gold and red. In the northwest, they are slate gray. Silica binds these bits of local mountains with the sand that pours down with them. Over time, a litter of glass and metal becomes embedded in the surface of the asphalt like so many stars. The rocks are polished by passerby’s. The rocks, glass and silica all shine when the sun stares down or the street lights hit the surface. On the hottest days, the air becomes dense. The light refracts against the air the same way it refracts against water and you may believe there is water on the road when there is not. This is called a mirage, which is easy to confuse with magic. At night, the road disappears into the darkness and there are only white and yellow lines. The far-away world disappears and the hills roll on like waves. Roads are built and repaired every day. They stretch out and meet each other. A man in a truck brings materials. A new road is born with the help of an old road. The workers make slits under the surface so it won’t crack as easily. The road feels endless. The road feels
Allissa Hertz earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Regis through the Mile-High MFA program. She received a BFA in Creative Writing and BA in Speech-Theater from Arkansas Tech University. She is an Editorial Assistant for Inverted Syntax. She was the Fall 2013 Editor of Nebo: A Literary Magazine. Her works are published and forthcoming in December Magazine, Progenitor, The A3 Review & Press, BadLands, and other publications.