Together We Swerved

Home on leave,
the coldest night
of early mountain spring—
he brought forties
from the county line—
in his mother's car,
we'd go and find
the first virgin lot,
ice-bound and slick,
a suicide ball in
one hand and
pedal to the metal,
we'd roll sideways,
centrifugally crazed,
and scream and snicker,
low gear slide away
from Deputy Dick
when the lot owner
Parked, we'd
compare tattoos
speak longingly
of what we thought
was our youth—
'til the windows,
stuck to steel frame,
iced over on the inside
and we'd let the small talk glide
over when we'd be back again
from war,
or what or who
we were doing this for.
I'm writing this now
on a kind of machine
'69 could not have foreseen—
and today,
he can't say
LK, you liar-we were just
dumb kids on fire
with honor, faith,
malt liquor, and butts,
and the cool fool joy,
cutting donuts.



LK Barrett

LK Barrett lives in Tallahassee, Florida and wakes up in a good mood six of seven days. She is comforted by the fundamental absurdity of the world, the persistence of beauty, and the inexorable finality of justice. She is a Viet Nam era USN veteran, and a student of Ganteng Tulku Rinpoche. She is as yet a marginal Buddhist. She keeps trying. She has written poetry from the age of six, because she has no choice but to do so. The thing that is using her for a voice is fond of mixed meter, slant rhyme, and the Oxford comma.  


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, February 21, 2022 - 13:01