Static was testing the limits of the car stereo speakers
fingernail on chalkboard white noise drilling
my back molars while driving
out of broadcast range of her radio station of choice
and me forgetting to bring the CD wallet.
She flicking off the car stereo
tossing the mini remote at my crotch in one deft motion
but it bouncing off then sliding under my ass.
I CAN’T DO IT.
She going for the gas station coffee
in plain white Styrofoam in the cup holder.
OH, YOU WILL DO IT.
Having a coffee too on my side untouched
His & Hers to sip for our game of He Said/She Said
all tied up like conjugal night crawlers
after exiting I-75 in the rain.
IT’S 90 DAYS.
THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT I CAN DO IT.
Pulling down the visor the mirror light coming on
looking satisfied with her paint job.
WELL IT’S NOT REALLY HELL.
MORE LIKE PURGATORY.
Going Catholic girl on me.
THAT’S BRILLIANT. YOU’RE REALLY GOOD.
TRY IT SOMETIME. Visor up.
Seeing the lawn sign coming up
and beginning to brake.
WE’LL FIND SOMETHING AROUND HERE
AND I’LL MAKE A CASE FOR THE TETHER.
Seeing the FOR RENT with the phone number
in front of the bungalow.
HOUSE ARREST OUT IN THE BOONDOCKS?
DO YA THINK?
NOW I KNOW WHAT THE FUCK
THIS JOY RIDE IS ALL ABOUT.
--Mark James Andrews has had a full and checkered career as a gravedigger, inspector at a defunct auto factory, and librarian. He is the author of Burning Trash (Pudding House, 2010) and his writing has appeared in many print and online venues. He lives one mile from the city limits of Detroit most of the time.