Dream of Car Wreck and Failed Extrication by Jonathan Travelstead

Dream of Car Wreck and Failed Extrication

No thwock of ignition, no whump of heat sails by
as I squeal to a stop the cardboard box.

Glass powders the highway like snow.

Strobes churn the dark. My ego radios for help
as I rush pell-mell with a dull axe
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .and the halligan’s crow-billed
steel fork and spike
towards the crumpled sedan melting in front of me.

Now the car is a dogwood flower that’s sprouted pink,
. . . .sudden and enormous from the broken yellow line.
Petals swollen, salmon glow
flickering against a body trembling inside.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Always the wrong tools,
my set of irons clatter to the ground, my hide-thick gloves.

My fingers trace clefts until the folds part
and unfurl to asphalt,
allow entrance to the cindered body inside.

I touch her blistered lips with mine.
I knew her.

Because no one is coming
I plunge the crackle and rind of her chest,
snapping ribs like kindling,
reaching the cavities of her heart,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .which I cup with both hands

as if with the right touch the pump will start again,
her eyes open like I remember,
and this time she will love me.

by Jonathan Travelstead

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Editor’s note: The surreal and haunting imagery so delicately embedded within these lines sears emotion to memory in this poem. The last line is a killer.

One thought on “Dream of Car Wreck and Failed Extrication by Jonathan Travelstead

  1. Pingback: Pushcart Prize Nominations – 2015 | Autumn Sky Poetry Daily

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