Dogs 2006

STOP LIGHT
(12/19/06)


I was already
10 miles over
the legal limit
and even though
the yellow
smiled at me
I knew that
I couldn't make it
so relented
and braked
becoming first
in a double line
of losers

my inertia transformed
I looked about
and saw him there
on the corner
70
80
90
it was
difficult to judge
he was ancient
and launching his walker
off of the curb
into the crosswalk

what was
his story?

where
did he really
have to
go?

where
were his
keepers?

this was painful
to watch
he was creeping
a few feet
a second
and had no
mathematical hope
of getting across
all four lanes
before the light
changed

it was madness
he was already
off course
in front of me
crashing into my bumper
then looking up
through the windshield
and right through
my eyes

I knew
that look
and that look
didn't know
me

was
anybody else
seeing this?

I glanced
to the car
next to me
but the driver
showed no awareness
of this unfolding
tragedy

she
had a call
to make

he continued
determinedly
past me
into lane three
the inhabitants of which
were gratefully
on the other side
of the intersection
but that distance
wouldn't last
for long

I saw
the amber lie
now taunting
the cross traffic
and my burden
still had one lane
yet to
traverse

the light changed
and I couldn't move
the car behind me
honked
incredibly causing
the derelict to stop
within several feet
of waiting safety
to look over his
stooped shoulder
to investigate

I was
losing it

the horses
on the other side
were out of the gate
picking up speed
much faster
than I
now trying
to watch the conclusion
of the diminishing drama
from the skewed angles
of my mirrors

I saw
no brake lights
or subsequent pile up
as I drove away
but I could not
stand it
any longer
so took
the first
available
left

around the block
in 30 seconds
I should have seen
either very slow life
walkering by
on the sidewalk
or very still death
bleeding out
in the road

I saw neither

nobody

nothing

un-fucking-believable

I was alone
on the stage
my seat
still warm
in the balcony
no one left
in the theater

a
no act play
closed
before it
began