Smoking in the girls’ room, sneaking a drink, napping
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It was the year before I got married
the first time. Many terrible things
were happening in the world,
and I had some kind of horrible job
which would last right up to the wedding,
after which I would get another horrible job.
I remember driving through rain, marble drops
bouncing off the asphalt.
And another time slicing through
fog, not really able to see the road,
steering almost by memory.
Maybe I spent that whole year driving, never arriving.
Sometimes the radio would play a song I liked,
and for a moment I could sing
inside the song the world was making,
and sometimes I had a passenger,
the girl who would become my wife,
whom I haven’t seen for years.
None of what went wrong later mattered in ’67.
We sat in the car, not caring about the world
flying past, comfortable in that small space and
content with the way trees swallowed daylight
and gave us darkness, the way we folded
into one another like a flower closing in on itself.
There was so much to do in ’67
and I did almost none of it
except breathe in pollen, breathe out perfume.