Red Car in the Future

You are not in it, but you once were. The bouquet
in your hand holds flowers that are dead—they were meant

for no one. A passing by is the way to be.
                                                           Think of the decaying
marquees along this avenue that will be a street one day.

Will the world change that much? I’m in the terrible habit
of believing in the past as solid and tactile before my memory
can catch up to me. An aesthetic has no place in a world

like this one, and this life is a kind of oar while your life
needs no metaphor to accompany it.
                                                             How many ways
of moving exist and how many slip into history each day?

Nine times out of ten, I want to agree with my instincts
and step right out into a busy street, not to be suicidal
but to exist in the future as I was always meant to be.

Adam Clay is the author of The Wash. His second book, A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. He co-edits Typo Magazine, curates the Poets in Print Reading Series at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, and teaches at Western Michigan University.

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