Derailed on the Way to a Halloween Party
BY BRIAN CLIFTON
It was the season of car wrecks and continual blood flow
to our sex organs.
I spat him out. I drank him in.
I called to the Lord, and the Lord
was silent. You were driving, he said
as he zipped up and buckled his belt.
Over the horizon, the sirens flashed like thousands
of miniature sunrises
in the mirror—my face painted
as a corpse. Breathe easy, he said
and put the car in park. In the headlights’
stray beams, the Volvo’s crumpled nose,
the glass lodged in our palms
like a new skin. Our world
became very small. It rested on my tongue
and turned into a milky geode.
Then from the shadows, the people descended
and tore the driver from the destroyed
vehicle. The police cars ululated in the dark street.
I gagged on the fumes. When my mouth opened,
another row of teeth gleamed under the set I had
painted on my lips. He had already fled.
I watched. In my mind, the city
swallowed him as lovers sometimes do.