Out there on the parkway with the subnormals. That Mercedes behind me will pass me at ninety and zoom in front of me. Here he comes. There he goes. I can read the future maneuvers of cars like a fortune teller reads a face. My brain flaming out on the Cross Island Parkway. My desires shrinking. My life in disarray. My sanity in doubt. I need a dozen drinks and a bed and alone. I get none of it. It takes my all to steady my hands on the wheel. One bad moment and I’m gone. It takes my all to steady my hands. Stuttering heart, jack hammered head. Hands shaking, but, yes, still steady. I could easily wipe out on that curve, slide the rain-slicked road into smoky oblivion or fall to pieces on the trees. But I drive on, bug-eyed. Trembling, but steady. The weight of the world on my shoulders, straining my back. Life is a bullet that approaches my head but never arrives. Just threatens. My hands steady on the wheel. But slipping. I get to where I’m supposed to, but don’t want to, be. I sigh, put away my toys, bring out my tools, grit my teeth, squint as the sun mocks me, open the door, and submit to my downfall. Steady on the wheel, driving to oblivion.
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.