Red Car in the Future

The night road, black with ice, lit volcanic,
       and like massive headlights, The Eyes
of the Great Flesh Cloud
coming at me.

       What’s the use of these sexual dreams
at age 60? Why to be absorbed, the moon

       to fall into, like a stopwatch stuffed with rubber
gears, to be ground to slick bits of who-was-it
       -I-felt-went-through-me, quick, pickpocket

hands, white and crimson, black and light
       through dark, like this highway fantasy?

To drop off, then, from the map’s edge
       into morning once again, slack of heat,
fumbling back into the box on the flowered cottage

       calendar that is today. As every day, pink
or gray, filling slowly with relief at my loss of drive,

       the shambling I will do from one chore
to the next, forgetting what I’m in this poem for,
       these words and somewhere here the needle

that I want, scrambled with the junk inside the junk
       drawer, tape and glue and snips of string.

A broken toy Jeep, little coach of yesterday
       with no tomorrow, one kid’s tiny cube
I no longer have to paint so cherry red.

Ed Haworth Hoeppner is Professor of English at Oakland University. He has published two collections of poetry, Rain through High Windows and Ancestral Radio; a forthcoming book, Blood Prism, was named the 2011 winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal award for poetry. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boulevard, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner and Shenandoah. He’s also the author of a critical study: Echoes and Moving Fields: Structure and Subjectivity in the Poetry of John Ashbery and W. S. Merwin.

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