Forty-five

It was one of those days—
the days you drive home
pushing your shitty V6
to four thousand RPM,
but the needle is never
as high as it needs to be.

You blast Pantera
and Phil’s bloodcurdling screams
blend perfectly
with your own pitiful wails,
and you speed
around the turn at ninety—
right until you pass
the highway patrol office.

And your head is thrown into reality
as you brake from ninety to thirty.

“Pigs,” you say
under your breath,
but only after
the black and white and red and blue
veer out of your rear-view mirror.

You don’t jump back to ninety, though.

You keep the needle bouncing
between forty and forty-five,
watching the trees wave you by.
And you don’t smile,
but the weights on your lips and eyebrows
gently fall away—
leaving nothing
but an extra crease
in your forehead.

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