13 May 2009

Sooner or Later

He put a playing card, the three of hearts,
into his bicycle spokes with a clothespin.
It made a noise.

He made a wrong turn in the middle of the night
and ended up southbound on Rt. 387.
It was worse than he imagined.

At the 24-hour diner with the neon coffee cup he met a girl
while he fumbled for the money to pay his bill.
It had been a lot more than he’d expected.

He kissed the girl outside near her car
and she pushed her hips toward him, let her breasts touch his chest.
It seemed like the right thing to do.

Riding back, the passing semi blew him off the road
and into the weed-full ditch,
his leg sadly pretzeled beneath him.
It was broken.

At the emergency room, they cut his jeans from ankle to thigh;
they ran a tube into his arm and poured in the drug.
It became quiet.

In recovery, they asked him who to call,
who needed to know about the accident.
It was pointless.

When he was released, they returned him all his belongings
in a labeled paper bag: his wallet, his shoes and
the three of hearts.

(Lunarosity, October 2003)

1 comment:

  1. In the Tarot, the design for the Three of Swords is a big heart with three swords piercing it. It is a card of pain and heartbreak. The Three of Cups, when upside down, is a card of over-doing it. The Three of Pentacles is a card of commitment (or broken commitment, in reverse), and the Three of Wands, reversed, is disappointment. Feels right, with this poem. All of it.