“Our child is coming!” your expectant lover might have said, so

your red hot-rod baby weaved right and left, always

headlong, until you slipped behind someone’s

grandmom, or another’s just-beginning firstborn, nervous—

more now—and their foot slides over the brake and breaks

momentum, and then I see a rancorous waving finger, another

hasty swerve just inches from my fender, wonder—

maybe there’s no newborn on the way, no tender dying spouse

to save, no righteous plea for this careless pace, just the scorching

impatience of your anger, and mine, now roused, radiating,

my voice and pressure climbing, clawed fingers curling

around the wheel like it’s your neck, my foot pressing down

like it’s on your face, just moments ago I prayed with Saint

Ephrem the Syrian, “Grant that I might see my own transgressions, and

judge not my brother,” but now I’m dropping f-bombs and burning gas, racing

alongside you on the road to hell, until a shadow falls dark and well and spooky over my


a turkey vulture eyeing our demise, and I wake, slow, wait, give you all the space you need

to change your lane, change your mind, and breathe.