Brought to you by the students of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
By Randy Lehman
Recall the forgotten tickets on the mantle,
the welling tears in her eyes just after
the words escaped, maybe a missed field goal
to win the game, the metallo-wooden crunch
of sheet metal on the telephone pole
because ice is tricky, or maybe there was a dog
and I swerved to miss it. Or maybe I wasn’t
paying a bit of attention. Strange
that you can pay with time.
Time is money, and we don’t have money,
so get out of bed. For all her wit, my mother couldn’t
take her own advice. I was a mistake,
how could the rest of my life be anything different.
I should sue Trojan. Or someone.
I wonder if they shared that same moment
of perfectly silent wonder, a second so surreal
that there are no thoughts, no breaths, nothing
but slow motion. Perfectly sideways, gliding
in both lanes, this is how the view
should be, like an observatory car, watching the scenery
slide from right to left as the train rolls on.
You long to be with me in that moment,
even though you know how it ends. It’s like a good book
that you want to read over and over, but at the end,
you get stabbed to death.
And the book turns into a deer that bounds away.
Instantly everything changes from still
to fast forward, and quickly back to still, crinkled
tin and crumpled body and then black. One cell
becomes two. Two, four. Four, eight.
Put life into me, even if it is a mistake.
One wire swings down in one graceful arc and touches,
just once, the crinkled tin.
Copyright © 2011 Mentis