Car Ride

CAR RIDE   8/2/2018

I heard her in the loudness,

Singing above the din.

She was better than me, not hard to do.

I remember

Tattoos on her calves,

Two, black ink,

A quarter note rest

And fermata.

“They mean something special

To me,”

She had said

Somewhere quiet. “Special.

Quite special to me.”

So I wondered, But what?

From the back of the car,

Aimless, dull, thick.

The question echoed, rattled, pulsed in my brain,

My headache its partner in crime.

And it sang, But what? as she sang—so well—

In the passenger’s seat, then stopped.

She stopped—

(Tattoos, two black ones, two)—

A silence amid the talkers—

(Fermata, a prayer for silence)—

And was beautiful, then.

So beautiful, then...

Then she opened her mouth,

Waging war with the driver—

The brief golden song escaped.

But what.

But what, but what?

In all of the loudness, in all of the din.

But what.

But what, but what?

In that car, that car, that thunderous car,

So cramped, like a brain full of questions.

Would I might could, like the car,

Open windows,

So the sound could spurt out

Onto hot summer pavement,