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Metuchen, NJ

it started, like countless others, with just a glass
     white wine and the hope for some herbal probability
the directions were simple enough, the locals quite friendly
     her blackness was the most beautiful thing and the white wine was cheap

it wasn't anything like that, though i confess plenty of
     contradictions abound and the story hasn't even begun
the music is incidental, convergence a welcomed side
     effect, a peculiar way of agreeing with no one

but nothing says it better than a Cosmic alignment

as a matter of fact the story ended nineteen years ago
     today in the backseat of a yellow Chimera, i mean
a Camaro with black interiors and room for everybody
     the hospital was not far, she was farther in the city

and then the sun was out and i passed out
     in the backseat with leftover shadows
too many out and about blaring their horns
     and zigzagging through suburban backroads

but the kids were still sleeping, thank fucking god

a false sense of security like a blanket over
     the sleepy main street not too far from here
some words to go with the coffee, the champorrado
     back on 18th street when detective hammer calls

the first of so many calls crisscrossing the lines
     between our chosen places to wait it out
with nothing but a vague notion of how to press on
     for you and me, for the others milling about

but the thing is i really can't say what went down

hers was a charming smile, they usually are
     three of them got to school late, the fourth
was early against all odds, the same odds
     that had me questioning my current direction

the bag was still in my bag, the phone under
     the passenger's seat along with my little
journal containing the failings of many stories
     and the numbers of countless mistakes

but we knew what would happen and we let it

happen to know a guy who knows a guy who-
     you get the picture. it could all go away
the guilt, the second guessing, the sleepless
     silence of a better idea you can't remember

there are nineteen ways we could leave right now
     but i'm afraid there's no way to get it into reverse
so we push on and out onto the street, easing as best
     we can into the morning traffic and back home

but i always leave something dear behind


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