In November, potholes freeze in the asphalt.
My car no longer shifts into first or third.
The passenger seat has been empty since summer.
Fighting sleep, I drive like memory,
swear, and laugh into the steering wheel.
One year ago, livid and spirited, I strove
for this enigmatic life of the
righteous. I could have been
the saint everyone assumes I am.
I stood myself apart for a while,
staring in at what would alter.
My heart would have been a vixen, still.
I gave up the fight for the robe and crown.
I'm so unsaintly now
I wish someone would say,
"Get thee to a nunnery."
If anything, it would make me smile.
And so it ended, as all things end.
I contemplate, driving home on East Valley Highway,
which in the starts and stops becomes
its own beginning.
I am not who I would have become.
But I cherish what replaced that life:
anguish, rage, deception, rage,
and a love I cannot fathom or refuse.
Oh, and did I mention rage?
A downward aiming hurricane of emotions,
striking at the earth with all its power,
merciless and consumptive.
My brakes have developed a squeal.
The highway is a crooked line.
I race it wearily in the morning, with light
filtering through the gray November sky.
And afternoons I tumble along
with the sunset obliterating sight,
as it does so early these days.
I grin at my fogged windshield.
Happy girls like sunrises, sugary sweet,
"It's like a beautiful beginning. Sunsets are so
sad. They always end."
I've never been happy.
And I can't be the saint they search for.
But even with this mouth full of darkness,
I can say without hesitation
that a sunset is infinitely better than
any beginning. A sunrise
turns into a daytime, a blue sky,
it conforms to the mediocre shades of day.
But a sunset,
while solitarily beautiful
leads into something infinitely infinite.
That black and blue bruised skin of night,
scarred with hopeful diamonds.
So I drive away from the rise,
in falling for you, in downward spirals,
with my hands tight at the wheel
and my lips cursing fervently.
I head into what's setting, which
begins all things lovely in its ending.