Monday, April 21, 2008

Poetry Month Day 21: Arkansas Scenic Byway

You didn't miss yesterday's poem, folks, I've got it right here, I just don't know about posting it yet. It's supposed to be a letter of introduction, a letter of warning, a letter of heads-up to future lovers... it's still a little sticky. Rest assured that when it comes time to share it, I'll justify pre-dating it to yesterday ;)

Here's what happened on my paper today:

i drove down highway seven tonight
for the first time in too many years.
you remember: it used to be Our Highway.
with every white dash it all came speeding back:
the one time i tried to follow you, your
daredevil-red tail lights always just
out of reach as i cursed both you and the
insane math you used to justify the speeds:
a sign will bear a sketch of the curve to come
and a suggested speed which, when multiplied
by one point five, equaled the minimum you'd
be going when you negotiated its curves.
the patches of fog that would drift in and out,
the mountains rising and falling around the car
like so many green waves, rabbit and doe
aknowledging the car and turning nobly away.
the times i let you drive my car knowing
the golden egg my father would lay if he knew
while clucking "uninsured driver" over and over
but you could always drive it better than i,
the oldsmobile eighty eight with the bench seats,
your arm around me and your hand inside
my panties, our lungs so full of high school we were
blissed out invincibles, and the roadside park
where you pulled her over so we could make it
on the picnic table: i thought my ass would freeze
to it. and the one night you took the gravel-
road detour, just because you could, and
the herd of doe appeared out of nowhere, all
around us, and the way you spun the wheel back
and forth a thousand times in those ten seconds,
dancing through them as they passed in front,
behind, and over us, and you didn't graze a one.

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