Manic car driving is not a door stop
This much she knew
after passing the fish market on a red light.
The dashboard blinked 5 AM.
It was all lit up, like migraine, a salt
mine in the desert. On the gas, her foot
became an abstraction
as if driving itself was an abstraction
of unhappiness. Who knew
her night life could've been only a foot
long? Here a traffic light
came in three flavors: plum, salt
mackerel, a home-sweet-home called I am
where my money says I am.
She was looking for abstraction,
an interchange for Salt
Lake City that didn't go: You never knew
what you were doing, did you. Light
from motel rooms made her foot-
sore and sad, as if the foot
brake was a crucified Christ which the AM
radio brought to light
by professional abstraction
of thorns. She knew
the steering wheel by its salt
margins, its strange salt
sweat on her hands. When did the foot
become a note, a tic that knew
anxiety through atomic number 95—Am,
for America? Her abstraction
was simply a redolent signal light
that made her feel light
oleomargarine, like a still life with salt
shaker. Was she a cubist abstraction
herself bent on proving she wasn't on foot,
that old line I speed therefore I am?
What little she knew
of door mats she knew from television light.
This was how 5 AM felt in her grip, like salt
in a footbath, a painful tooth abstraction.
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