Poem

road

Midnight, and I'm Leaving 80 miles per hour and memories fly like bullets. They whiz by an hiss as they pass, lightly graze with a razor's touch. Some sink and burrow into my flesh.

I continue to circle and circle the well-worn grooves of your laughter, I thumb the frayed corners of the pages of your anthology I've memorized. Every little smile and long gaze, every fiber, tendon, and muscle in your hugs. Them, and you, and me in this car tonight.

The vents, with their cool breath, exhale a soft, steady song and the oncoming cars improvise accented jazz rhythms as they pass by and shrink into their own dark horizons.

I could turn and I could follow them, I could barrel through the concrete divider, I could chase them into the mouth of the night and drive until I find that familiar twilight with you, soak my feet in the fresh dewdrops of second chances.

But I stay inside the taunting lines of paint, try to keep my eyes staring straight ahead past the shaky grasp of my headlights, past each and every heavy layer of black that swoops and screams toward me. I cannot turn this car around. There are no exits between dusk and dawn.

And yet, even when I blink, you're on the back of my eyelids, thread-like splices of film, glimmers and glints like microscopic laughter impossible to wipe away.

The past is deaf but still you speak, like echoes or nightmares or records.