He drives onto the grassy shoulder and unfastens
his seat-belt. The aluminum buckle glistens.
He is watched from behind by two upholstered knobs.
He thinks: strapped to things we drive or fly,
helmeted for cycling and all the jobs
that peril our coconut head, we rush
on our wheeled callings, hoping to avoid the crush,
the whooping car that blinks its bloody eye
—no Roman would be able to make sense
of our latin name for it, an ambulance,
A rubber walker with the spry attendants.
I was to go to the hospital tomorrow, but I thought
Why not today? Now I unstrap the rented Avis car
and, opening the hatch, step boldly out
onto the Planet Earth. My skull is bare,
The animal hide is fitted to my feet.
The autumn air is fresh, a first pepperidge tree
has turned mahogany and red. This is a safe walk.
The turnpike is uninhabited. When I come back
I’ll meet a trooper with a soft, wide hat
Who’ll take away my Earth-rocks and debrief me.