The black bow at the small of your back
is the long rope harpooned to your mother’s
grave. You can’t tie it yourself. Bad
cars sent you to a boarding school too young
to understand: the accident, her absence.
Now, childless and approaching forty,
driving sets you free, like death without
the memory of death. You always name
your cars. They take you away smoothly.
Tonight, your naked back feels cubist
and daggers down your legs make cocktail
chatter hateful. The black tie affair is
the only one you’ll have now, although
your shiny dress alone could mark a trail
for treasure. Marriage is a gold mine
of work. Children mean serious business.
The season of the little black dress never
ends and diapers do not constitute a look.
Driving into country, road smells drop into
your dark car like recipe ingredients:
pine cone, diesel, willow, dead skunk, river.
You drive for antiques but dream this instead:
at a dirt road diner, you sit alone
at a booth for six, eating scrambled eggs
out of a bird’s nest on your plate. Then
you walk into a field of bright grass, lie
down, touch yourself, and give birth laughing.