by David Kozlowski (flickr)
It starts with bloodshed, always bloodshed, always the same,
running from something larger than yourself story,
shoving money into the jaws of a suitcase, cutting your hair
with a steak knife at a rest stop,
and you're off, you're on the run, a fugitive driving away from
something shameful and half-remembered.
They're hurling their bodies down the freeway
to the smell of gasoline,
which is the sound of a voice saying I told you so.
Yes, you did dear.
Every story has its chapter in the desert, the long slide from kingdom
to kingdom through the wilderness,
where you learn things, where you're left to your own devices.
and Theodore's bleeding shotgun into the upholstery.
It's a road movie,
a double-feature, two boys striking out across America, while desire,
like a monster, crawls up out of the lake
with all of us watching, with all of us wondering if these two boys will
find a way to figure it out.
Here is the black box, the shut eye,
the bullet pearling in his living skin. This boy, half-destroyed,
screaming Drive into that tree, drive off the enbankment.
Henry, make something happen.
But angels are pouring out of the farmland, angels are swarming
over the grassland,
Angels rising from their little dens, arms swinging, wings aflutter,
dropping their white-hot bombs of love.
We are not dirty, he keeps saying. We are not dirty...
They want you to love the whole damn world but you won't,
you want it all narrowed down to one fleshy man in the bath,
who knows what to do with his body, with his hands.
It should follow,
you know this, like panels of a comic strip,
we should be belted in, but you still can't get beyond your skin,
and they're trying to drive you into the ground, to see if anything
Driving, Not Washing by Richard Siken