The Nation

Poetry

The Average Driver Will Be in a Car Accident Once Every Eighteen Years

 

Moonship comes when I’m on the road,
A/C on, music on, the inside

still in, then—zam—wind, unshielded crescents
of moon, the body gone, tearing through

space at 60 miles per hour. A green grape,
slender skin, the way every

body must be. Goose-egg on my head,
shards on my face like stars,

she didn’t mean me harm when she turned her body
from the Tollway to look at her baby. Who means

the other harm? The self, so soft. The car, a skin
across the self. Did you expect today to pay a toll

to the sky? Once my friend was hit
terribly and feared it was just the dress rehearsal

for what was coming. Imagine
a long truck dragging behind it the future. Pay.

Pay a single pound
of your body, spine to skirt, rib to rib to rib.

An ex who loved me a little but in the end not
enough teased that all my poems end with love and oh gods

of glass, gods of blacking out and coming back—
may it be so. My love, my one and only love

said she wished upon herself instead the hit.
In a perfect world,

we are all each other
all the time. It isn’t perfect now.

But isn’t she me and give me strength, I am she,
turning around facing my child.

Nomi Stone