November 28, 2010

L. Lee Harper

DRIVING WITH MAN IN PASSENGER’S SEAT

The insult, an old one, almost palpable.
Tired of the wheel, you surrender it
and fall asleep before I’ve driven one mile.
When asked why, you plead exhaustion.
At day’s end, after two drinks, you offer,
whiny as some writers, that riding
makes you sick, that driving focuses your
nausea elsewhere, and after one beer
before the motel bed swallows our
inebriated lust at corporate rates,
you sink murmuring that my driving
makes you nuts and finally, truth,
that bear market, draining away
what few assets I have left.

This could be a narrative by Nabakov, whose trail
streams with hot blood, but there it cools.
Tomorrow as you snore and I drive, I imagine
strangers in Jags cruising along side,
Antonio Banderas maybe, so in love with me
in cinematic eroticism explicit as movie posters
at the mall. So, zen adultery. I cheat
on you mile after mile,
as you dream, implacable as lovestupor,
comfortable and married,
immutable as a familiar itch.

from Rattle #23, Spring 2005