You grab a hoodie
and what’s left of the vodka
on your way out the house.
The screen door slams behind
you and I drown out
the cries from your mother
with the cheap roar
of a 13 year old four cylinder.
It’s 8:30. I grab your hand
and squeeze white knuckle tight
as the trees disappear behind us.
On the radio, Credence Clearwater
Revival protests a 40 year old war
we’re too young to understand.
It’s ok. We understand it now
at 80 mph to Yorktown. There’s
a smell of our swamp town seeping
through the open windows and
a slow repetition of
white house brown house
to either side and three
missed calls from the factory
to fire me and it all makes sense -
I just have to get there faster.
90 mph to Yorktown to fight
the British naval fleet, armed
only with a bottle of vodka and
a few golf clubs in the trunk,
the sun setting behind us,
Hushed cries from the lonely
muddled in the turbulence of
two kids -
reckless and true,
heartbeat steady and sunshine
on mind, who aligned depression
with solitude and the British Empire
and checked “none of the above.”
We made the sun shine down
forever - never idle, never sober,
always crashing over
the guard rails of the mind
into those beautiful ravines
we see but never touch.
9:30 and Yorktown is covered
with gunpowder smoke. The air
thick and black and cold, we huddle
on the beach with the vibrations of
the National Anthem riding the surf.
The night impaled us, but not before
ten shots plus a promise - that if we
died tonight at Yorktown our skeletons
would be found smiling in defiance.