October 29, 2017
“Give me the map,” she said,
Her outstretched hand unsteady
As the road’s demanding happenstance.
“I can’t steer if I don’t hear
Someone tell me where to go.”
“I know!” I told her,
And she glanced a moment
Down her pointed shoulder
At my face, emphatic with frustration,
Bolder without hesitation,
Pinched with listening
To static frequencies of silence
As the miles ran sorely on.
My eyes scanned poorly
Over ocean waves of streets
While beats of ambiguous basslines
Whispered crinkly secrets
Through the radio
With the sound low
And the knob turned
Almost all the way to the left.
Meanwhile, greyish matter mulled
Over twisted, winding colors-
Purple strips crisscrossed by
Light-blue veins and changing hues-
And, looking up,
A grey sedan and unplanned chatter
Pulled over between the clover-field
And the raining, rippled road,
I realized with steely eyes:
I had no idea where the heck we were.
Oh, sure, I knew where we were going-
She’d shown me a picture-
But I’d forgotten how to read,
To ride, to write the right way,
Where– who– how–
And what on earth was I supposed to do, I thought,
Sitting in that gritty situation,
Witty words and quick remarks
All disappearing once called, with–
Oh, no. Is that–
“I Feel Pretty” had made a home
In the absence of the regulars.
Pretty, witty, fine, and pity:
Lyrics rattling around; I pity
Everyone else whose mind is swimming
With untimely interruptions…
Wait a second.
I’m still lost.
“Give me the map,” she’s saying,
And I’m praying
For a spot of luck.
Her hand is almost twitching,
Fingers itching at the stuffy air,
And it’s only fair, I think.
Between the plink plink plink
Of the raindrops on the windscreen
And my leaning, lingering, long-lost looks,
I hand her the map
And let her help me
With all of this crap.