I myself see the car crash as a tremendous
sexual event really. J.G. Ballard
I blame chance, that reprobate,
for my slide and spin and slow-motion
carom across both lanes. I’m lost
in an icy lot full of damaged cars,
mine among them, towed by a trucker
who had a tremendous day. At least
I’m not in love with my car. What hurts
is not that stubborn muscle the heart,
but only my ribs and back and foot,
a humble list of injuries. My witnesses
got on their cell phones to call police
who filled out forms in neat block letters.
If crashes are sexual, who has the fun?
I think drivers who lived through today
are turning up music to induce sweet
amnesia. I clutch ruined cars as I slip
from one to the next, find my own
with one door working and papers
I need inside. Is this like after a funeral?
People go home to love and trouble,
quarts of gin, a woman kissing another
woman, a woman so drunk she can’t
stand up. Some must call friends and
tell their crash stories; some call strangers
and whisper into their quiet machines.
Barbara Daniels lives in Sicklerville and taught English at Camden County College from 1976 through 2008. Her book Rose Fever: Poems was published by WordTech Press. She received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and earned an MFA in poetry at Vermont College.