Poem: In Cars

  1. Parked

in a darkened lot

under the romantic glow of a street lamp,

the couple

is necking. A good old-fashioned make-out.

Oblivious to the goings and comings

of the world, deaf to slamming car doors or passing people.

They envelop each other; she fills him like breath

He quenches her like water.

Perhaps that is the best kind of romance.

2. Cruising

down the highway

under the rising Georgia heat

the wife

is leaning. Her gentle fingers scratching an itch

her husband cannot scratch

with both hands on the wheel. He leans in

to her touch; he smiles with gratitude,

glancing over for a moment.

Perhaps this is the best kind of love.

3. Whizzing

through green fields

rolling hills and empty two-lane roads,

the boy

is singing. Willie Nelson whines as

Wind whips through windows rolled down.

The scent of fresh cut grass fills his lungs

as the blue ridge mountains hold a steady, distant


Perhaps this is the best kind of freedom.

4. Stalling

under a grey overpass

while the rain pelts down in sheets,

the girl

is crying. Sobbing, each breath desperate.

Remembering her lover’s soft touch

on the small of her back. How he used to guide her into

a room. How he used to reach up

and rub her neck, unexpectedly.

Perhaps this is the best kind of


5. Rolling

Through oak-lined avenues

At cool summer’s dusk

The father

is listening with his son. The notes of Beethoven softly lilt

Into the smaller space between them,

A comfortable silence. Finally, they are open

with each other

In the quiet white noise of a convertible.

Perhaps this is the best kind of bond.

6. Drooling

On the window pane, the slobber flies

Onto the black paint and red stripes.

A bulldog

Is hanging his head

His jowls flap with abandon,

He bays into the speeding landscape at long past

Scents and foes.

Perhaps this is the best kind of joy.

7. Yelling

Over the radio

Over each other

A mother

Is shouting in frustration

Eyes fixed on the road, her manicured hands

Grip the steering wheel, knuckles white.

Red-faced, the daughter

A miniature portrait of her mother, eyebrows furrowed

Loses her anger

Boxed in by steely forces, words punching

Black eyes on both.

Perhaps this is the best kind of catharsis.

8. Gone


Or everywhere

A people travel up

Over and around chilled mountains, lush valleys,

flat, barren highways,

or parched deserts.

Perhaps these are the best kind of journeys.

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