Vox Populi

Because I was twenty
and in a hurry for the next stage to begin

I’d driven all night to see
the ocean. I was in love
with the young man at the wheel,

the way his chestnut chest hairs swirled
like an animal had bedded there.
I loved the arch of his slender

feet, his fingers with the half-moons under
the nail beds. I slept through
the Appalachians, unbent my legs

in Georgia and woke to a weak Florida sun
filtered through haze, a monochrome
dawn, a turnpike empty and white

as sky. I thought it clever
when he said clear was a color:
the color of everything

that couldn’t be seen.

I imagine that nutria were bobbing
in their brackish dens as
we powered past
roadside weeds sparkling with dew,

taking turns at the wheel in the car he’d dubbed gray shark. Hungry and wide, it plied
the fog…

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