I stand like a sunburnt half-crucifix
at the side of the road,
paying for the sins of Woodstock and May Day
in this Indiana twilight.
What calls me to this life?
I saw an old man and an old woman
before a red brick silo—
orange, red, scarlet leaves
of western New York—and smoke
rising like a whistled tune,
fine and grey as their hair. I remember the serenity and intensity
of being held captive, kidnapped,
magnificently out of control,
helpless in the back seat
while my life was balanced in the fingers and toes
of a stranger, intoxicated
and speeding through the Allegheny blackness.
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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