1951: Ice-varnished streets, the sky an ebony slab,
as a young woman accordions her ancient Volkswagen
into the back of my treasured black Hudson,
She, head through glass, carmine-streamed, removed in a howling van
while the cops look over the two carcasses and then approach me,
 
And at that moment, as the ambulance wails away, as the cop opens his notebook,
as I extract my driver’s license, my proof of ownership, my insurance card,
behind my thoughts of the woman., behind my earnest face, my trembling hands,
I feel a purr of pride:
The cops must think me substantial, producing all these documents so expeditiously.

(1999)

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