Car Crash

The music cuts out. It’s painless.
The lacrosse stick cradles the rearview.
The tree looks wet. In the hissing,
a blue jay is eating
another blue jay.
He tastes balloons, the airbags
like inverted eyelids. His knee
is on the engine and the windows
are gone. His brother falls out of the door
and throws up. He asks if he’s okay.
He can’t hear his voice.
The other car is in the ditch.
Nobody is getting out.
There’s an urge to turn the wheel back
until it comes off. There’s bark
in his cheek. He touches the rubber ball
in the windshield. He wants weed.
The ground looks wet
in the light. He’s standing in the road
picturing getting hit.
The yellow lines are wide.
Gasoline is running under his feet.
His brother is saying okay.
People are laughing. Cars are coming
over the hill and stopping. Nobody
is getting out. They’re asking questions.
His eyes are being looked at.
Leaves are rising off the ground. His brother
is lying down. He keeps finding his hands
again. A moth is nailed to the tree.
The fireman is reading a joke
into the bucket of his helmet.
Nobody is getting out.
The paramedics act like caterers.
The cop has Slim Jims in his holster.
He can’t hear his voice. They tell him
where to stand. The Jaws of Life seem small.
The cop holds his hand and smells it
without asking. Nobody is getting out.
His brother is lying down.
A bystander takes off her hair.
Sparks are eraser flaking off the door.
The cop is talking about hot dogs.
His dad had been promising a last drink.
The cop is asking about speed.
His dad had been talking to his stomach

as he fell asleep waiting to see the Hale-Bopp comet
on the front lawn with his sons semicircled around him listening.



Eli Sahm received his MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was a finalist for the 2016 NC State Annual Poetry Contest and his work has appeared in Your Impossible Voice.


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