Chariot from Hades, fire glinting from its windshield, steel knife splitting the atom to pull in front of me, so close now I can see the driver, her phone, can hear death ring. Searching for a place to get away, I swerve into a corridor of hate, detesting her, my body fired with full throttle hatred, I rev up, speed ahead, so close now I can see her her mouth a frightened grimace. How exposed she is, wearing only the flimsy dress of a car, her brief face etched and dying on the air, when someone calls, Bless this child. May her parents see her alive tonight, speaking through me, a voice, then peace, as she passes safely by.
The snow in North Dakota asks a question with no question mark, no capital letter, to indicate where it begins and ends or what lies in the middle, for that matter. The question is white and drifts above the cab of the snowplow while in its orange light people lean into the wind along the curb, digging out cars that vanish in the night.
At home their dogs are silent, hearing no sound. The cattle huddle and freeze, and buffalo crossing the buried fence, free now to roam, stand silver and stiff as nickels in the dawn— eyes frozen wide and blank as if they tried to comprehend the question while they died.
“When you pray, go into your room,” He said, so each green dawn as spring light stirs, I sit, womb-snug, in my small room, hushed high above unfurling leaves, with Luke who’s all of five days new, but solid as a loaf of bread, and, oh, such wisdom; petal-soft, in and out, I hear his breath. Receive. Release. That’s all there is. Just this. Quiet. Nothing more.
“It did what I wanted it to do,” said my sister of the carefully composed little book of old family photographs she’d arranged with sheer vellum slips between the pages, “so they could see through to the old faces, maybe circle them, write things, mostly gather round close and remember because the book is small.” Their knees would almost have to touch.