The night I went out without shoes on

Wasn’t it a miracle?

Neither of us died trying to get to the meeting place

all the lights in the world seemed out that night

I had only known how to drive a few months

you were an old hat who routinely broke laws

with bottles wedged between your legs, a

cigarette burning ash down your fingers

there had always been a desire in me

for brokenness, as if I recognized in those

souls, something in myself

or a freedom in people who abandoned ettiquette

and discarding it, became suddenly free

I liked the wild, I liked women with untamed eyes

and dirty minds

the moon was full that night and we watched owls

gather themselves in flight and swoop

cloudy restaurant lights flickering in and out on the side

of the empty high way

I had watched films about a life like this

I said to you, films like Gas Food Lodgings or Paris Texas

where the greatest landscape was the tarmac

and the wide abundant merciless sky

where people sheltered in shadow and night creatures

crawled unseen and women met by closed restaurants

the flicker of their 24 hour advertising, sizzling against blackness

you were strange looking as if you had

deliberately tried to destroy yourself and I

forgot to wear shoes, my feet hot against still baked

soil, biting fiends flying in humid air, thick with ‘unspoken

entreaties

I wanted you to slam me there and then against

the unresisting brake of my car

leaving a bruise the size of texas clouds

I wanted to break apart like rocks with gem stones

inside, find something in both of us

bigger than the sky, deeper than weary darkness

but I was too young then and fear wrapped herself

like a blanket of stars and pulled me back

into the world, into doing what is right, into being careful

and sitting up straight when you eat at the table

all these years later, I still think

if we had set the car on automatic and just ridden

away

down that empty highway, into hushed, blooming night

we might have found the part of us

still lacking

every day we wake up

wash our face, comb our hair

and look too long in the mirror

searching for the lost parts

of our dark dreams

22 thoughts on “The night I went out without shoes on

  1. Oh! The risk not taken, the step back from the border between the wild and the civilized, and the replay of memory. A line leaps to mind from Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages”:

    “Ah, but I was so much older then
    I’m younger than that now”

    I held my breath reading and it escaped at the end.

  2. At a loss for words for how present I feel in this experience; it is loose yet precise, it flows yet slices, it puts a lump in your throat and forces you to swallow. Brilliant.

  3. Makes me want to create my own version of ‘Thelma & Louise’! Would you join me? πŸ˜‰ And this line “a freedom in people who abandoned etiquette”, took me to a place I’ve been, and at times, yearn to return to. ❀

  4. How you turn yearning, feeling into words is a rare gift … your poetry will fill the classics from this age in time … πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΏ

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