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.

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