in my dreams i’m in a car

by blake ellington larson

it doesn’t matter what kind of car

as long as it has a stick shift

in my dreams
i drive it

trees pass by like memories

but my focus is on
the windshield wipers

left right
right left
repetitive and tranquil
inviting and taunting

the dream is a recurring dream
driving fast
one hand on the clutch
the other on the steering wheel
two fingers
holding a cigarette

i am on a freeway
and there are no exits
or road signs
and the road seldom curves

the driving in my sleep
is like a constant
or a throb

the dream never starts
and it never ends

i never start the engine

i never cut the engine

it’s just me and the cigarette
me and the trees

me and the black fuzzy death of tar
etched into the road
slightly ahead of the highlights

II.

when i learned to drive
it was with my twin brother
driving home from new mexico
late at night
in our mother’s motor home

both of us
staring down the interstate
four states away
like in a vex
or a hallucination
like voodoo
or some kind of deja vu

i remember mother was asleep

that my hands were clammy
stressed
locked in position

i remember jack rabbits
perched on the side of the road
in front of the brush
hind legs flexed
ready to dart

i remember feeling
a sense of forever
with my brother

the kind of feeling
god’s must feel
when they meet each other

or lovers

i remember mother told us
to keep it at sixty five
that anything more
would be too much

and i don’t remember
how long i drove
if we stopped for gas
or waited out a storm

i only remember that
at eighty miles an hour

we didn’t
get home
any faster

(1999)

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