Thursday, June 10, 2010

1994 Volkswagen Jetta en Route to Jackson, MI via. Eastbound I-94, 4/17/10 19:44 EST

I smoke in your car as the gears shift,
startling the cigarettes from their ashtray.
The sound is loud in the old interior,
The smell is old in the loud interior.
Yo La Tengo is playing, the treble is too high
and I can only hear the right speaker.
“I wish,” you pause the music,
“I wish I could find a man who loves this song.”
You hum “Gentle Hour”.
I am quiet, watching the cars move past us.

I should slap you for saying that,
falling for men who play your songs
and sing them to you in drum circles
around campfires and smoking mad dank.
They look like the lead singers of your favorite bands,
crude and dirty emulations of what you want.
I glance out the window, thinking
about how in the hell you can rationalize
anything that you just said. Ira continues,
crooning about things I clearly don’t understand.

I think to myself, I love this song, I am a man,
but I am not a man to you, apparently.
The trees create a background for the side mirror
that is broken, angled sharply inward at you.
You’ve dyed your hair, painted your eyes.
You drink and smoke and pop pills.
You are driving from my house
which you came to uninvited
and dragged me out of bed to buy
Tums at a Meijer over twenty miles away.

I should slap you so hard right now
for every reason listed above.
Yet, you are driving this piece of shit
and the treble is wailing like a child now.
The trees wave to us, but you don’t see them.
You are focused on the road, the song,
and on me, who will be entertaining you tonight.
We are best friends, and yet I cannot be this man,
the one who can sing you songs about intimacy,
something you never had with me.

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