Suicide Knob, 1984

Gray bondo 442
windows down
loose paper swirling in the back seat night air
honeysuckle and smokestacks
a second skin
Thirty minutes away from
her tidy brick ranch with
sagging gutters and cracked roof tiles–
well past curfew,
the chainsmoker, hair in curlers
watches the street
Slender, glistening cheesecake thighs
peel off black vinyl. She
crushes tight against my shoulder
at fifty-seven miles per hour
like I’m a magnet that will keep her
safe at any speed
Who knows the lost glory,
those wide-open bench seat handjobs
on an open road at night
Van Halen “Eruption” live
glass packs add crazy percussive bass
I listen to the music but not to her
We see each other more clearly than we see ourselves
One sweaty hand high up her thigh,
one on that silver skull, that suicide knob
fingering both
figuring it out


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